The PUMS Database: A Corpus of Previously-Used Musical Stimuli in 306 Studies of Music and Emotion

Lindsay Warrenburg


A corpus of Previously-Used Musical Stimuli (PUMS) is presented. The PUMS database is an online, publicly-available database where researchers can find a list of 22,417 musical stimuli that have been previously used in the literature on how music can convey or evoke emotions in listeners. A total of 306 studies on music and emotion are included in the database. Each musical stimulus used in these studies was coded according to various criteria: its designated emotion and how it was operationalized, its length, whether it is an excerpt from a longer work, and its style or genre. In the PUMS corpus, there is also information regarding the familiarity of the original participants with each musical sample, as well as information regarding whether each passage was used in a study about perceived or induced emotion. The name of the passage, composer, track number, and specific measure numbers or track location were noted when they were identified in the original paper. The database offers insight into how music has been used in psychological studies over a period of 90 years and provides a resource for scholars wishing to use music in future behavioral or psychophysical research. The PUMS database can be accessed online at


database; emotion; musical stimuli

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