Introduction: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a progressive neurode-generative brain disease characterised clinically by abnormalities in behaviour, cognition and language. Two subgroups, behavioural-variant FTD (bvFTD) and semantic dementia (SD), also show impaired emotion recognition particularly for negative emotions. This deficit has been demonstrated using visual stimuli such as facial expressions. Whether recognition of emotions conveyed through other modalities — for example, music — is also impaired has not been investigated. Methods: Patients with bvFTD, SD and Alzheimer's disease (AD), as well as healthy age-matched controls, labeled tunes according to the emotion conveyed (happy, sad, peaceful or scary). In addition, each tune was also rated along two orthogonal emotional dimensions: valence (pleasant/unpleasant) and arousal (stimulating/relaxing). Participants also undertook a facial emotion recognition test and other cognitive tests. Integrity of basic music detection (tone, tempo) was also examined. Results: Patient groups were matched for disease severity. Overall, patients did not differ from controls with regard to basic music processing or for the recognition of facial expressions. Ratings of valence and arousal were similar across groups. In contrast, SD patients were selectively impaired at recognising music conveying negative emotions (sad and scary). Patients with bvFTD did not differ from controls. Conclusion: Recognition of emotions in music appears to be selectively affected in some FTD subgroups more than others, a disturbance of emotion detection which appears to be modality specific. This finding suggests dissociation in the neural networks necessary for the processing of emotions depending on modality.