Work Package 1: How can we objectively quantify interpersonal entrainment in music performance?
This project employs both existing and novel methods to quantify interpersonal entrainment, using a large database of existing videos of group performances from a variety of musical cultures. We will extract relevant time series from both audio (e.g., event onsets from each performer) and video recordings (e.g., the quantity of motion and head/hand movements of each performer). These time series will then be analysed using powerful statistical techniques (e.g., cross-recurrence quantification analysis, event synchronization, and Granger Causality) in order to provide quantitative evidence of entrained behaviours within each group of musicians. By considering music from a large number of different cultures, IEMP will allow similarities and differences in patterns of entrainment to be assessed systematically across musical traditions. These similarities and differences will be assessed using statistical clustering techniques that will group musical traditions characterized by similar patterns of entrainment at global and local levels. This work will therefore generate a unique set of entrainment analyses of performances in diverse musical genres using a set of common techniques, as well as a set of systematic comparisons between them.
Work Package 2: How do listeners perceive interpersonal entrainment, and how does this vary cross-culturally?
This project aims to test listeners’ perceptions of the degree of interpersonal entrainment present in recordings from various cultures. Experiments will be run using participants in different parts of the world, and each group of participants will be asked to evaluate music that is both culturally familiar and unfamiliar. We will examine the extent to which participants’ subjective perception of entrainment/coordination between performers is in line with the objective measures of entrainment developed in Work Package 1, as well as how varying levels of entrainment impact upon the aesthetic evaluation of each musical style. A subset of the recordings will also be experimentally manipulated by varying the level of synchrony between the performers. This will allow us to systematically investigate the effects of different degrees of coordination/synchronization on listeners’ perceptions and evaluations of each musical style. Ratings of entrainment will be taken on both a local basis (using a continuous response paradigm) and a global basis (using an overall rating of each excerpt) to provide further methodological comparisons.
Work Package 3: How is interpersonal entrainment related to cultural context?
This project will consider the ethnographic context of each musical recording in relation to the results of Research Projects 1 and 2. It will generate a unique set of analyses and interpretations of the relationships between objective and subjective measures of entrainment and relevant social and cultural factors. The project will involve extensive consultation with the ethnomusicologists who collected the original recordings, many of whom have published extensively on the musical traditions of the cultures in question. The project will also consider whether different functional purposes (e.g., listening, dance, rituals) or patterns of leadership/ performer hierarchy within the music might have a distinct impact on entrainment styles.