Robinson argues that music is a series of simultaneous processes, and that it therefore is an ideal medium for mirroring such more 'cognitive' aspects of emotion as musical themes' 'desiring' resolution or leitmotif's mirrors memory processes.
These simultaneous musical processes can reinforce or conflict with each other and thus also express the way one emotion 'morphs into another over time'.
Segmental features are the individual sounds or tones that make up the music; this includes acoustic structures such as duration, amplitude, and pitch.
Suprasegmental features are the foundational structures of a piece, such as melody, tempo and rhythm.
Music's expressiveness is certainly response-dependent, i.e. The philosopher Jenefer Robinson assumes the existence of a mutual dependence between cognition and elicitation in her description of 'emotions as process, music as process' theory (or 'process' theory).
Robinson argues that the process of emotional elicitation begins with an 'automatic, immediate response that initiates motor and autonomic activity and prepares us for possible action' causing a process of cognition that may enable listeners to 'name' the felt emotion.
Further research on psychophysiological measures pertaining to music were conducted and found similar results; musical structures of rhythmic articulation, accentuation, and tempo were found to correlate strongly with physiological measures, the measured used here included heart rate and respiratory monitors that correlated with self-report questionnaires.
Music also affects socially-relevant memories, specifically memories produced by nostalgic musical excerpts (e.g., music from a significant time period in one’s life, like music listened to on road trips).
Research has shown that suprasegmental structures such as tonal space, specifically dissonance, create unpleasant negative emotions in participants.
The emotional responses were measured with physiological assessments, such as skin conductance and electromyographic signals (EMG), while participants listened to musical excerpts.