For the hemispheric laterality of emotion processing in the brain, two competing hypotheses are currently still debated . The first hypothesis suggests a greater involvement of the right hemisphere in emotion perception whereas the second hypothesis suggests different involvements of each hemisphere as a function of the valence of the emotion . These hypotheses are based on findings for facial and prosodic emotion perception . Investigating emotion perception for other stimuli, such as music, should provide further insight and potentially help to disentangle between these two hypotheses . The present study investigated musical emotion perception in patients with unilateral right brain damage (RBD, n = 16) or left brain damage (LBD, n = 16), as well as in matched healthy comparison participants (n = 28). The experimental task required explicit recognition of musical emotions as well as ratings on the perceived intensity of the emotion . Compared to matched comparison participants, musical emotion recognition was impaired only in LBD participants, suggesting a potential specificity of the left hemisphere for explicit emotion recognition in musical material . In contrast, intensity ratings of musical emotions revealed that RBD patients underestimated the intensity of negative emotions compared to positive emotions, while LBD patients and comparisons did not show this pattern . To control for a potential generalized emotion deficit for other types of stimuli, we also tested facial emotion recognition in the same patients and their matched healthy comparisons . This revealed that emotion recognition after brain damage might depend on the stimulus category or modality used . These results are in line with the hypothesis of a deficit of emotion perception depending on lesion laterality and valence in brain-damaged participants . The present findings provide critical information to disentangle the currently debated competing hypotheses and thus allow for a better characterization of the involvement of each hemisphere for explicit emotion recognition and their perceived intensity.