Seeing a drummer’s performance modulates the subjective experience of groove when listening to popular music drum patterns

EAVES, Daniel, GRIFFITHS, Noola, BURRIDGE, Emily, MCBAIN, Thomas and BUTCHER, Natalie (2019). Seeing a drummer’s performance modulates the subjective experience of groove when listening to popular music drum patterns. Musicae Scientiae.

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Spontaneous rhythmical movements, like foot-tapping and head-bobbing, often emerge when people listen to music, promoting the sensation of being in the ‘groove’: a psychological construct that additionally incorporates positive affect. Here we report the first study to investigate if seeing the music maker modulates this subjective experience of groove. Across trials participants (n = 36) listened to high and low groove drum beats, while concurrently observing a task-irrelevant point-light display (PLD) of the drummer. The PLD was either fully-corresponding with the audio or was incompatible across three other visual display conditions: a static PLD, a corresponding but asynchronous PLD (0.5s time shifted); or a non-corresponding PLD (e.g. low groove audio paired with high groove PLD). Participants rated: (a) their desire to move; and (b) the perceived groove in response to the auditory beats only, using 8-point Likert scales. In both measurements there were significant main effects of groove level and of visual display. Ratings were higher for high compared to low groove audio, and for the fully-corresponding condition compared to the other three visual conditions. The participants’ desire to move was also rated higher in the static condition compared to the non-corresponding condition, while the two-way interaction was also significant: ratings were higher for the high compared to low groove audio in the fully-corresponding, static and asynchronous conditions, but not in the non-corresponding condition. These findings identify the importance of seeing as well as hearing the musician for an enhanced listening experience, which necessitates a multimodal account of music perception.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1601 Anthropology; 1701 Psychology; 1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing; Experimental Psychology
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 16:15
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 06:36

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