Audience's responses to western classical concert measured, personality key for syncrony, new study finds

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 06-10-2023 13:32 IST | Created: 06-10-2023 13:29 IST
Audience's responses to western classical concert measured, personality key for syncrony, new study finds
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI
  • Country:
  • India

Audience members at a western classical concert had synchronised responses in movement and heart and breathing rates, new research in Nature journal's Scientific Reports suggests.

Also, the electrical conductivity of skin, indicating excitement, was synchronised, scientists from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and other institutes report in their study.

They also found that people with a more agreeable nature and those who were imaginative and curious displayed more synchrony in their responses.

Their research's sample comprised 132 adult concertgoers, who were monitored whilst they listened to a concert consisting of three classical music pieces played by a string quintet - Ludwig van Beethoven's ''Op. 104 in C minor'', Brett Dean's ''Epitaphs'', and Johannes Brahms' ''Op. 111 in G major''.

Their basic goal was to determine the listeners' synchronisation of physiological and behavioural dynamics (audience synchrony) when exposed to concert music, the researchers said.

Their second goal was to explore associations between how much an individual was 'in sync' and the individual's psychological variables such as personality traits, affective states, and aesthetic experiences during the concerts.

Thus, the participants' movements were monitored using overhead cameras and their physical responses with wearable sensors. They were also asked to fill in questionnaires about their personality and mood both before and after the concert.

Physiologically, the authors observed significant synchronisation between audience members for movement, heart rate, breathing rate, and the electrical conductivity of skin, indicating arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the body's responses in emotionally arousing settings. The greatest level of synchronisation was seen in the breathing rate.

In terms of personality traits of the audience members, individuals with 'Agreeableness' and 'Openness' contributed to more synchrony, or were more 'in sync', the researchers observed. They were referencing the 'Big Five' model, which classifies all personality traits based on these factors - Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, Neuroticism, Extraversion and Conscientiousness.

Thus, in this study, trusting, sociable and imaginative persons who were interested in art were more prone to become synchronised, the researchers concluded.

Further, personality traits of 'Neuroticism' and 'Extraversion' were less 'in sync', which meant that more nervous and insecure persons, and also outgoing extraverted people became less synchronised by the music, they said.

They also derived a third set of findings related to the aesthetic experiences to each of the three classical pieces and pointing to the embodied experiencing of music.

They found that an individual's contribution to audience synchrony was higher when the music moved listeners emotionally and inspired them. These links were, however, only found in heart-rate synchrony.

Of all the participants, 58.5 per cent were female and 38.5 per cent were male. The average age of the group was 46.2 years. About 40 per cent of the group had a university degree in the humanities or social sciences and about 24 per cent in music, arts or cultural studies, the study noted.

The findings suggest that music may be able to induce synchronisation in physical responses between audience members, and that personality traits may have an effect on the likelihood of an individual becoming synchronised with other audience members, the authors said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback