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What is Entrainment? Definition and applications in musical research



Entrainment theory describes the process of interaction between independent rhythmical processes. This paper defines entrainment in this general sense, then briefly explores its significance for human behaviour, and for music- making in particular. The final section outlines a research method suitable for studies of entrainment in inter-personal coordination, and with reference to published studies suggests that the study of musical entrainment can be a source of rich insight also for the study of human social interactions and their meanings.
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
What is Entrainment?
Definition and applications in musical research
Durham University, Department of Music
ABSTRACT: Entrainment theory describes the process of interaction between
independent rhythmical processes. This paper defines entrainment in this general
sense, then briefly explores its significance for human behaviour, and for music-
making in particular. The final section outlines a research method suitable for studies
of entrainment in inter-personal coordination, and with reference to published studies
suggests that the study of musical entrainment can be a source of rich insight also for
the study of human social interactions and their meanings.
Submitted: 2012 January 6; accepted 2012 July 13
KEYWORDS: dynamic attending, neuronal oscillators, recursiveness, interaction
THE term ‘entrainment refers to the process by which independent rhythmical systems interact with
each other. ‘Independent rhythmical systems’ can be of many types: what they have in common is
some form of oscillatory activity (usually periodic or quasi-periodic in nature); they must be
independent in the sense of ‘self-sustaining’, i.e. able to be sustained whether or not they are entrained
to other rhythmical systems (thus sympathetic vibration, as when a violin’s soundboard vibrates at the
same frequency as one of its strings, is not an example of entrainment). In order for interaction to take
place some form of coupling must exist between the rhythmical systems, and this too can take many
forms. This process of interaction may result in those systems synchronising, in the most common
sense of aligning in both phase and period, but in fact entrainment can lead to a wide variety of
The classic example of entrainment is that of pendulum clocks, which were observed by the
Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens to synchronise when placed on or suspended from a common
support (see Pikovsky et al. 2001, 357ff). Numerous other mechanical instances of this phenomenon
have been identified, but the phenomenon also extends to the biological world, where examples include
those of synchronising fireflies, and the resetting of body clocks by sunlight (circadian entrainment).
Even these few examples reveal some of the many variables encountered in the study of entrainment.
Huygens’s original example was of two clocks mutually influencing each other (symmetrical
entrainment); the fireflies are many, with each individual potentially both influencing and being
influenced by several others; circadian entrainment features one rhythmic process the cycle of day
and night influencing the internal body clocks of many individual organisms, while those individuals
are not able to influence the time of the sun’s rising and setting (asymmetrical entrainment).
Entrainment between rhythmic processes may thus be one to one, one to many, or many to many, and
may be symmetrical or asymmetrical. This paper will focus on examples of entrainment that are
particularly relevant to human behaviour, and more narrowly still to musical behaviour. Even within
this relatively narrow brief, entrainment comes in many forms, in terms of the number of rhythms
involved, their timescales (periods), (a)symmetry, and so forth.
Entrainment is not a single phenomenon that occurs only in human musical behaviour: it is an
abstraction describing a process common to many different phenomena occurring at different scales of
time and space, in both biological and mechanical systems. As such it has been studied with the aid not
only of observation of natural phenomena, but also with the help of mathematical models developed
within the broader framework of dynamical systems theory. It is possible to study musical entrainment
productively with reference to only a tiny fraction of this substantial research field, but nonetheless a
certain part of this wider body of theory is indispensible. One essential abstraction is the notion of
phase in periodic or quasi-periodic processes. Many observable rhythmical processes are by their
nature continuous, but the more or less arbitrary definition of a reference point (such as the audible tick
or a clock or the moment at which an insect begins to emit light) allows us to study the phase
relationships between them. If we are concerned with entrainment between musicians, we might
identify the moment an individual strikes a drum-head or taps a foot as the focal point of a quasi-
periodic movement, and based on this choice we may study the relative phase of a particular pairing. If
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
two such events occur at precisely the same time then the rhythms are in phase (relative phase 0°), if
one occurs precisely midway between the other they are in anti phase (relative phase 180°), and so on.
If two rhythms are entrained, then, they do not necessarily fall precisely into phase with one another.
Rather, the evidence for entrainment will be (a) a stabilisation of the relative phase relationship, and (b)
the reassertion of this stability following a perturbation. In other words, when two rhythms are
entrained the relationship between them (be it in-phase, anti-phase, or somewhere in between) will
stabilise, and will be sufficiently robust to reassert itself; in the example of the clocks the test of
entrainment is not simply that they tick in synchrony (which could happen by chance), but that if we
upset that synchrony, for instance by momentarily stopping one of the pendula, they will re-
An example of human entrainment has already been noted above the resetting of internal body clocks
by sunlight. In fact, many instances of entrainment can be observed both within and between human
individuals. Examples on a very small scale include entrainment between different neuronal oscillators,
or between ‘pacemaker’ cells found in the heart. Still within the individual but on a somewhat larger
scale, many common actions involve the synchronisation of movements between different body parts
for example walking. At the inter-individual level, many forms of manual labour clearly involve the
synchronisation of actions between individuals the cooperative pounding of roots or grains, for
example, or a cooperative sawing motion. High-performance athletes may benefit from types of
entrainment not experienced by most individuals: for instance, rowers and cross-country skiers tend to
entrain their breathing to their limb movements (Steinacker, Both et al., 1993; Fabre, Perrey et al.,
2007). In short, entrainment is displayed in many different forms of human behaviour, with periods
ranging from a few milliseconds to a day (and possibly longer). That observed in inter-personal
entrainment tends to fall within a somewhat narrower temporal range.
Looking at this from a somewhat different perspective, entrainment affects our behaviour in
many ways: if our body clock falls out of synchrony with the cycle of day and night we suffer from jet-
lag, which can result in unpredictable patterns of tiredness and wakefulness, irritability and so on. We
will suffer in very different ways if our heart pacemaker cells do not function properly. The broader
implications of entrainment for human behaviour have been discussed across a range of disciplines
including social psychology and even history. Historian William McNeill, for instance, begins his 1995
book with reflections on the visceral effects of military drills and what he calls ‘muscular bonding’,
extending his discussion to topics including dance, religious ceremonies and social cohesion in small
communities. In the process he tackles many questions which have interested social scientists at least
since Durkheim, who argued that:
Probably because a collective emotion cannot be expressed collectively without some
order that permits harmony and unison of movement… gestures and cries tend to fall
into rhythm and regularity, and from there into songs and dances.” (Durkheim 1995
[1912]: 218)
One of the important aspects of human entrainment to have been studied to date is inter-limb
coordination: a long tradition of tapping coordination studies has shed considerable light on this
phenomenon. The basic dynamics of two independent but coupled body parts (published studies focus
most frequently, but not exclusively, on index fingers) can be modelled with the help of a simple
mathematical equation known as the Haken-Kelso-Bunz (HKB) model, which simply assumes the
existence of two rhythmical systems and some form of coupling between them (it is not therefore
dependent on any specific biomechanical information): this model predicts two stable relationships, in-
phase and anti-phase, with the anti-phase relationship becoming progressively less stable as the
frequency of oscillation increases (Kelso, 1995: 54ff). This is exactly what empirical studies of finger-
tapping show, whether the two index fingers belong to one individual or two.
A related group of studies explore unintended entrainment between two individuals
performing actions such as swinging pendula from the wrist or rocking in rocking chairs (Schmidt &
O’Brien, 1997; Richardson et al., 2005; Richardson et al., 2007). These experiments clearly show that
when individuals interact socially, for example in conversation, the rhythms of their actions tend to
become entrained. A key factor here is mutual attention in social interaction, because simply being in
the same room is not a sufficient condition for entrainment to occur.
Indeed, according to Mari Riess Jones’ Dynamic Attending Theory, attention is a key factor in
human social entrainment. Jones proposes that attentional behaviour is quasi-periodic, and that our
attentional rhythms may become entrained to regularities in our environment, which may include
rhythmical behaviours of other individuals (Jones & Boltz, 1989; Large & Jones, 1999). The
entrainment of attentional rhythms can be understood as underpinning a number of human social
behaviours, including speech and music: if I can entrain to your behaviour and you to mine then we are
able to coordinate our actions. Numerous examples of human behaviours notably musical ensemble
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
suggest that some mechanism of this kind must exist, while for others such as turn-taking in
conversation and other aspects of linguistic behaviour it may also be a convincing explanation.
A particular phenomenon which seems to be distinctive of entrainment in and between
humans, which is related to the periodicity of attention, is our ability to coordinate actions with an
external periodic auditory stimulus. The notion that this is exclusive to humans has been challenged by
Patel: exploring his hypothesis that beat perception is linked to vocal learning (2006), studies appear to
show that a cockatoo is able to synchronise its movements with a musical stimulus, if intermittently
(Patel et al., 2009). Whether or not this proves to be a widespread ability in other vocal-learning
species, it certainly seems to be fundamental to many behaviours that we think of as essentially human,
such as the use of language and music. Dynamic attending, especially when employing auditory
information, permits a wide range of temporally coordinated behaviours in humans. Timing
coordination can be observed in many different species, but the range of applications of inter-personal
entrainment seems to be uniquely broad in humans, precisely because we can attend rhythmically to a
range of senses including hearing.
As noted above, entrainment theory is not domain specific, but is rather an abstraction that can be used
to make sense of many different phenomena. In studying entrainment in music too we can find many
different phenomena sharing some common features. In fact, I argue that it is important to distinguish
between different manifestations of the phenomenon (see Clayton, in press), and that it is convenient to
do so at three different levels, viz:
1. Intra-individual entrainment takes place within a particular human being. An important
phenomenon at this level is the entrainment of networks of neuronal oscillators, which appear
to be responsible for metrical perception (Large & Kolen, 1994; Large, 2000, 2010; London,
2004). Another aspect of intra-individual entrainment, as noted above, is the coordination
between individual body parts (e.g. the limbs of a drummer).
2. Inter-individual/ intra-group entrainment concerns co-ordination between the actions of
individuals in a group, which is essential for ensemble playing in any musical tradition. This is
largely facilitated by the entrainment of attentional rhythms to auditory information, although
other sense modalities vision in particular often also play a part.
3. Inter-group entrainment concerns the coordination between different groups. This is less
widely recognised, being a rare phenomenon in Western art music, but in fact it is a
widespread phenomenon (see Lucas et al., 2011).
These different levels of musical entrainment are interdependent, most obviously in the sense that each
builds on the previous level: intra-personal entrainment allows us to perceive metrical structures in
musical stimuli and to coordinate our actions to those structures; without this it would not be possible
for individuals to play in time with each other; and without musicians playing together in groups we
could not have multiple groups interacting with each other. The interdependence may not all be in one
direction, however. Clayton (2007) demonstrates how hierarchical timing relationships can come into
being without prior planning or explicit recognition, as an emergent behaviour of a group of people
performing quasi-periodic actions: this raises the possibility of metrical patterns emerging directly from
joint action, rather than necessarily coming into existence first at the neuronal level and then being
expressed behaviourally.
As noted above, entrainment does not necessarily result in synchronisation in phase between
rhythms of matching periods. Musical behaviour offers many other manifestations of entrainment,
some of which may even be unique to human music-making.
A. Different rhythms can entrain not only in unison, but also in hierarchical or polyrhythmical
relationships. Examples of coordination between musical parts which are relatively slow and
those which are relatively fast (in relationships such as 2:1. 4:2:1, or 6:3:1) are so common in
music as to be trivial. Less common but still very widespread are polyrhythmic relationships
between parts (3:2, 4:3); Clayton (2007) introduces an example of a 3:2 relationship which
emerges unintentionally from musical interaction.
B. Hierarchical relationships can not only be observed behaviourally, as in the case of parts
which move at different speeds but are mutually coordinated. They also account for metrical
percepts: computer models which aim to illustrate this process in a simplified form, show how
hierarchical percepts can emerge spontaneously in response to relatively simple stimuli (Large
C. Just as common as musical parts in hierarchical temporal relationships are parts with matching
periods which are synchronised out of phase for example, a snare drum that falls in an anti-
phase relationship with a bass drum. While so many commonly-cited examples of entrainment
seem to involve in-phase relationships, it is important to keep in mind that in music,
entrainment can involve a wide range of phase relationships.
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
D. Entrainment can be symmetrical (as in Huygens’s clocks) or asymmetrical (as in circadian
rhythms). In the case of music it can be either: symmetrical in an ensemble made up of peers,
asymmetrical when people play or dance along with pre-recorded music they cannot
influence. It can also be relatively symmetrical: in most musical ensembles any individual can
influence any other, but in practice some people are more likely to have influence than others
(e.g. conductors, section leaders, soloists, senior musicians). Music may then be a particularly
good forum for investigating the interdependence between timing coordination and social
power relationships.
In summary, musical entrainment is recursive: individuals perceive and generate hierarchical temporal
structures; they coordinate their actions within groups; and groups of people coordinate to form larger
groups. It is also diverse: it can involve matching periods as well as hierarchical and polyrhythmic
relationships, it is out of phase as often as it is in phase; and it can fall almost anywhere on the
symmetrical-asymmetrical continuum. Musical entrainment is observed with periods in a range of
roughly 100-2000 msec (corresponding to frequencies of 0.5-10 Hz), from the fastest beat to a typical
measure (metrical and hypermetrical structures can however be considerably longer than 2000 msec,
see e.g. Clayton, 2000, p. 87).
Given the diverse examples of entrainment in musical performance, it follows that a wide
range of methods may be applied in studying these phenomena. The particular focus of the work
summarised below has been the role of entrainment in interpersonal and inter-group interactions, as
manifested both in the sounds produced and in patterns of movement. The analyses are therefore
sensitive both to musical knowledge and to personal and social factors in other words they take
account of the fact that entrainment is being observed in real-life, meaningful human activities, and
assume that both the features of the music that people aim to produce, and the range of meanings that
the activity holds for them, will be significant in relation to the entrainment dynamics per se.
This final section briefly introduces an approach to the study of musical entrainment in natural settings,
which employs a ‘stroboscopic’ method designed for the investigation of entrainment between quasi-
periodic rhythms (Pikovsky et al., 2001, Clayton et al., 2005). This method is straightforward in
principle, involving the following steps:
a) Identification of quasi-periodic rhythms and extraction of time series data
b) Calculation of relative phase relationships from pairs of time series
c) Investigation of entrainment using this relative phase data, employing visual inspection and
statistical measures
The case studies referred to here all concentrate on either inter-individual or inter-group entrainment.
The rhythmic processes at stake can be either sound-producing or silent movements: timings can be
taken from the onsets of particular sounds (in an audio file), or identifiable points in a periodic motion
such as the moment a drumstick strikes a drum head, or the highest or lowest point in a foot-tapping or
head-nodding movement (from video recordings motion capture technology would be another source
of this data). Whichever rhythm is at stake, and whatever the data source, series of time data points
need to be derived.
The next phase in this process involves the calculation of the relative phase of each point in
one series with respect to the other series. If we are looking at the location of bass onsets with respect
to a ride cymbal part in a jazz ensemble, for example, the two cymbal onsets closest to a given bass
onset define a period, and the location of the bass onset with respect to that period is calculated. The
relationship of the bass part to the cymbal part is thus expressed in a single series of phase angles.
When these phase angles are plotted against time, it is possible to get an immediate
impression of the relationship between the two rhythms. If they are unentrained, that is uncoupled, then
the relative phase plot will generally proceed as a gradual drift, showing up on the chart as a series of
diagonal lines. If they are entrained then the relative phase will be stable, and the plot will form a (more
or less) horizontal line.
Another way of plotting the same data is to simply plot the distribution of phase angles on a circle,
in effect removing the time dimension. The grouping of data points will indicate the phase relationship
to which the rhythms tend. If the distribution is unimodal, calculation of a mean vector will enable a
quantification of this mean phase angle [µ] and the degree of entrainment (r, on a scale from 0 to 1).
Multimodal distributions may indicate hierarchical or polyrhythmic relationships. Three stages of this
process are illustrated in Figure 1: (a) a time series plot, (b) a plot of relative phase against time (in
seconds) and (c) a phase distribution plot with mean vector.
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
a. #
b. #
c. #
Fig. 1. Investigating the relative phase of two musicians’ silent hand gestures (data selected from the
study reported in Clayton, 2007, for clarity of illustration). a. Time series data. b. Relative phase of the
harmonium player’s finger taps calculated with respect to the singer’s hand taps. c. Distribution plot of
the data from chart b with mean vector (r = 0.961, µ = -8°). (Chart c and mean vector calculation
produced in Oriana).
Three studies cited here apply this method in different ways (further studies using similar
methods can be found in Clayton et al., 2005). Clayton (2007), from which the illustrative data in
Figure 1 are derived, studies the relationships between musicians in an Indian classical ensemble. This
paper considers two different aspects of an ostensibly unmetred performance: a) entrainment between
the silent hand gestures of soloist and harmonium accompanist, and b) that between different players of
the drone lute tanpura, who are not supposed to coordinate with each other or with the music they hear.
Doffman (2008) uses similar methods to study the timing relationships between the members of jazz
trios, and correlates these findings with interview material from the same musicians talking about
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
timing relationships and their socio-musical significance. Lucas et al. (2011) applies the same methods
to the study of relationships between different groups in the Afro-Brazilian Congado ritual, again
seeking to make sense of the results in terms of participants’ musical and ritual relationships. All of
these studies employ audiovisual recordings of real-life performances in natural settings. Of these three
studies Clayton uses data derived from video observation, Doffman’s timing data were derived through
a process of onset detection using audio files, while Lucas et al. derived timing data by tapping along to
audio files (which were also contextualised with the help of video recordings). The different sources of
the data affect the timing resolution to some extent, but otherwise are treated in very similar ways.
In the case of Clayton (2007), this approach demonstrated that in the case of the silent hand
gestures, the two musicians were clearly coordinated but loosely so, with r = 0.67 a much lower index
of the strength of coupling than those reported in other studies. (As Figure 1 illustrates however, at
times the coupling between the two is nonetheless much stronger than this, with r = 0.961 for this ten
second extract). The study of the relationships between tanpura players reveal a mixed picture:
sometimes they show no phase stabilisation, but in one pairing the two players show a (clearly
unintentional) stabilisation, which occurs in a 3:2 relationship (the periods of the two plucking patterns
are roughly 3 seconds and 2 seconds). In this case the stabilisation occurs between the soloist Veena
Sahasrabuddhe and her student sitting behind her, and occurs when the student fixes her visual
attention on the soloist’s back or shoulder: visual information seems to be important, and to this extent
the entrainment must be asymmetrical as the soloist cannot see her accompanist. Less surprisingly
perhaps, a study of the relationship between the soloist’s hand tapping and her own tanpura playing
showed entrainment in a 3:1 relationship. As noted above, these findings illustrate not only that
interpersonal musical entrainment can occur unintentionally, but that it can do so in hierarchical or
polyrhythmic relationships, and can result in temporal hierarchies at least as complex as those
intentionally reproduced as musical metre.
While the previous study was concerned largely with exploring the possibility of unintentional
entrainment, Doffman (2008) looks at the musical and social coordinates of timing relationships
between jazz players. Not surprisingly, the pairs of musicians (drummer, bassist, and guitar or piano
soloist) are tightly entrained, with r typically >0.9. More interestingly, small nuances and shifts
between relatively tight and loose coordination, or between a particular musician being slightly ahead
or slightly behind another, can be intensely meaningful for these musicians, and these phenomena are
tightly interwoven with musicians’ estimates of their own and others’ capabilities and characteristics as
musicians, and with their understanding of the ideals to which jazz performers should aspire. Doffman
studies the dynamic shifts between tighter and looser coordination, and concludes that timing
relationships aimed for in jazz groove cannot be reduced to a single ideal (e.g. in phase relationship and
degree of entrainment); rather, the ideal relationship is inherently dynamic and playing jazz involves
meaningful variations within the permissible range of looseness and out-of-phaseness.
Lucas et al. (2011) employ the same ‘stroboscopic’ method to investigate entrainment
between groups in a form of ritual processional music. Here ethnographic study strongly suggests that
the groups are invested in the notion that playing in time together is an index of ritual unity;
concomitantly it is important not to fall into time with groups from other communities, which would
indicate a breaking down of necessary ritual bonds and barriers. Study of several occasions on which
different groups play in close proximity allowed a number of different factors to be distinguished.
Different groups belonging to the same community entrain, and fall into synchrony, relatively easily
at least when their tempi are fairly close together and they are in close proximity. When the groups
belong to different communities this is not so: sometimes they manage to retain their mutual
independence, using strategies such as exaggerating tempo differences and looking away from each
other; at other times one or both groups will simply stop playing to avert the possibility of falling into
time with the other. On one occasion, however, two groups performed a mutual greeting ceremony
while attempting to avoid playing in time, despite the fact that they were playing similar rhythms at
similar tempi. The result was that they actually fell into a tightly entrained relationship for over two
and a half minutes (r = 0.988), but they managed to do so out of phase by 223°, which meant that
although they were tightly entrained they did not perceive the relationship as such. Again, the complex
interrelationship between entrainment dynamics, intentions and meanings is apparent.
These three studies, as varied as they are, all address a particular type of musical entrainment
phenomenon they are concerned with studying the interactions between people while making music
in real-life situations. The various findings demonstrate not only that it is possible to shed light on
entrainment dynamics in natural musical performances, but also that it is possible to relate these
findings to information about the intentions, experiences and discourses of the people involved. This is
a particular approach to a range of entrainment phenomena in music, which is interdisciplinary and
committed to rigour in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and to a principled
investigation of their interrelationship (see Clayton, in press). There can be little doubt that much more
can be learned about human music-making, indeed about human interactions in general, through
studies of this nature.
Empirical Musicology Review Vol. 7, No. 1-2, 2012
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... We make the assumption that the purpose of singer interaction is to achieve some form of 'acting as one entity' 1 or in other words some form of 'togetherness' 2 . The use of the term 'entrainment' (Clayton, 2012), which at first glance seems to lend itself to the description of the phenomenon of singer interaction as well, seems on closer inspection to be too narrow in the present context, since we are not only interested in temporal coordination, as the term 'entrainment' is commonly used for, but also in harmonic coordination and their consequences. This notwithstanding, our study has benefited greatly from the concepts developed in (Clayton, 2012). ...
... The use of the term 'entrainment' (Clayton, 2012), which at first glance seems to lend itself to the description of the phenomenon of singer interaction as well, seems on closer inspection to be too narrow in the present context, since we are not only interested in temporal coordination, as the term 'entrainment' is commonly used for, but also in harmonic coordination and their consequences. This notwithstanding, our study has benefited greatly from the concepts developed in (Clayton, 2012). ...
... The systematic use of larynx microphones allows the documentation of the acoustical contribution of each singer while all of them are singing together in their natural context without cross-talk artefacts (Scherbaum et al., 2015). This allows for studying the mutual interactions between singers, which in this case are 'symmetric' (in the sense of Clayton, 2012), quantitatively for this dataset. ...
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This paper is concerned with how singers of Georgian traditional vocal music interact when singing together. Applying a variety of computational methods from audio signal processing and music information retrieval (MIR), we examine three existing corpora of (field) recordings for manifestations of a high degree of mutual coordination of the singers' voices. We find numerous examples of harmonically controlled mutual intonation adjustments on both short and long time scales. Furthermore, we believe that the observed differences in melodic and harmonic scales can also be interpreted as (side) effects of the singers' interaction with the possible goal of achieving harmonic togetherness (or consonance) on the time scale of individual (important) notes. In addition, together with the ensemble Khelkhvavi from Ozurgeti, we conducted an experiment demonstrating the synchronization of singers' heartbeat rates during the performance of the Gurian song Chven Mshvidoba. The results of our analysis show that a variety of measurable signs of interaction between singers can be observed and documented in existing corpora of Georgian traditional vocal music. Our experience also shows that relevant information about the synchronization of body functions of singers during performances can nowadays be obtained with reasonable technical and logistical effort even in a 'real-world' framework, thereby allowing to address questions related to the 'ecological validity' of these kind of measurements.
... In addition to WCP and RMP, whole-class ensemble tuition programme currently underway in English schools supplements classroom-based music education offering all pupils new musical experiences and the opportunities to learn musical instruments (Fautley and Daubney 2019). The goal of these approaches is to actively bring a whole class of students through music to experience entrainment, that is being together 'in the moment' and playing at the same time (Clayton 2012). Entrainment is a complex interactive process among people encompassing not only an individual's metric perception and coordination and the coordination of individuals in a group, but also negotiations of power relations and an ability to adapt to both musical and social entities by the means of music. ...
... For teachers, it requires a high level of musical competence, knowledge of pedagogical approaches and the ability to pay attention to the whole class of students within a unique, constantly changing and intensive situation (Schiavio, K'ssner, and Williamon 2020). For students, it requires not only social or complex coincidental cognitive skills, such as perception, symbolic activity and motor performance, but also active participation and the ability to adapt their behaviours to musical entirety in synchrony with others (Clayton 2012;Karlsen 2011). While the importance of students' active participation and agency in different learning environments has become increasingly acknowledged in the twenty-first century (Vaughn 2020), student agency in music education has received little attention to date. ...
... This study highlights the role of entrainment, a complex interactive process among people that points at the ability to adapt one's behaviour to social and musical entities and perceiving oneself as a part of an entity by means of music (Clayton 2012). It is a profound way of being present, in the moment and in time collectively. ...
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This study explores music teachers’ beliefs of student agency in whole-class playing and investigates what characterises student agency through teachers’ values, actions and observations within this unique multimodal and -dimensional learning environment. Our abductive analysis of 11 interviews reveals that the role of teacher support is significant in enacting students’ agency. This study provides insights into student agency through the eyes and actions of teachers within the context of whole-class playing and suggests that the enactment of different aspects of student agency is an essential feature necessary for whole-class playing to succeed.
... Ademais, tem sido utilizada também como 'a teconceito' com vistas a aba ca discussões de cunho biocultural acerca das operações cognitivas que demarcam as ações de corpos em multitarefas como dançar cantando, falar dançando ou dançar tocando um instrumento (Nhur, 2020 Com base na análise apresentada, pode-se dizer que, dentro de um processo envolvendo dança e canto, a imitação corpórea de formas sônicas orienta possíveis relações entre movimento e percepção sonora através de diferentes acoplamentos por sincronização, sintonização e empatia. Quando, além de se mover ao som de uma fonte externa, um artista cênico produz sons vocais, processos multimodais complexos envolvendo desenvolvimento motor e habilidades musicais anunciam diferentes níveis de entrainment (Leman, 2008;Clayton, 2012) que podem ser aprimorados em treinamentos e práticas direcionadas de voz e movimento. ...
... Clayton (2012) destaca que o entrainment intraindividual abarcaria a relação de ressonância de um humano consigo mesmo. Nesta forma de entrainment, haveria uma dinâmica básica de coordenação de vários membros e partes do corpo acoplados de forma independente numa ação sonora, como ocorre com a intercoordenação entre mãos e pés na performance de um baterista(Clayton, 2012).Como a voz pode ser considerada um fenômeno mecânico conduzido por coordenação muscular e princípios aerodinâmicos, poderíamos aplicar a hipótese de entrainment intraindividual para repensar a sincronização entre os sons vocais e movimentos corporais coreografados em experiências criativas envolvendo performances simultâneas de movimento sonoro. ...
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Resumo-Voz em movimento: um estudo de metaperspectiva sonoro-motora que reúne dança contemporânea, música e tecnologia Este artigo propõe uma discussão sobre as relações entre som, voz e movimento, à luz de um estudo de caso que reúne dança, música e tecnologia. Intenta-se sublinhar como a cena analisada pode revelar complexos cruzamentos de ação entre movimento e voz, por meio de um método de espelho aprimorado pela tecnologia para a auto-observação. Estudos advindos da Dança, das Ciências Cognitivas, da Ciência Vocal e da Cognição Musical Corporificada compõem um referencial teórico resultante do cruzamento entre arte, ciência e tecnologia. A partir desta reflexão, pretendemos desenvolver futuras ferramentas metodológicas para a formação de artistas que pretendem conjugar dança e habilidades vocais. Palavras-chave: Voz. Movimento. Dança Contemporânea. Música. Tecnologia do Espelho. Abstract-Voice in movement: a study of sound-motor meta-perspective gathering contemporary dance, music and technology This article carries out a discussion on the relations between sound, voice and movement, through a case study that gathers dance, music and technology. The paper aims to highlight how the analyzed scene could reveal complex action-based crossings between movement and voice, through a technology-enhanced mirror method for self-observation. Literature from Dance, Cognitive Science, Vocal Science and Embodied Music Cognition was gathered to compose a theoretical framework based on the crossings between art, science and technology. From this reflection, we intend to develop further methodological tools for the education of performers who aim to blend dance and vocal skills. Resumen-La voz en movimiento: un estudio de la metaperspectiva sonoro-motriz que reúne danza contemporánea, música y tecnología Este artículo propone un debate sobre las relaciones entre el sonido, la voz y el movimiento a la luz de un estudio de caso que reúne danza, música y tecnología. Pretende subrayar cómo la escena analizada puede revelar complejas intersecciones de acción entre el movimiento y la voz, a través de un método de espejo potenciado por la tecnología para la autoobservación. Estudios procedentes de la Danza, las Ciencias Cognitivas, la Ciencia Vocal y la Cognición Musical Corporizada componen un referencial teórico resultante del cruce entre arte, ciencia y tecnología. A partir de esta reflexión, pretendemos desarrollar futuras herramientas metodológicas para la formación de artistas que pretendan combinar la danza y las habilidades vocales. Palabras clave: Voz. Movimiento. Danza Contemporánea. Música. Tecnología de Espejos.
... Entrainment: neural clocks, muscles, locomotion and primate 'contagious heterophony' Biological entrainment is a process by which independent self-sustaining rhythmical or oscillating systems interact with each other when they are coupled together so they fall somewhat in step (see Clayton, 2012). In living creatures entrainment can take place between different parts of the same body, such as the coordinated motions of the limbs and the correlation between the breathing cycle and the heart rate, or it can occur between groups of individuals belonging to the same species that can range from the call-and-response croakings of frogs to the duets and choruses of birds and primates. ...
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ABSTRACT FOR WEB VERSION OF BOOK This monograph is on the evolutionary importance of music for hominin communication and in particular the emergence of a sing-song gestural proto language(or clusters of such languages) in early hunter-gatherer forms of the Homo genus from around one million years ago. The more complex messages of this primordial language consisted of holistic combinations or strings of utterances, melodic pitches and gestures that had to be learnt and expressed in their entirety, although a slight degree of lexical juggling of the components of these combinatory phrases was possible. Inspite of not being a fully open grammatical, this proto language that some refer to a ‘musilanguage’ was, nevertheless, capable of transmitting simple symbolic information. For this hypothetical language the monogram draws on primate studies, the fossil record, adult-infant communication, genetics, cognitive studies, linguistics, musicology: and the fact that the very first although slight archaeological evidence symbolic behaviour appears in the Homo genus from around 600,000 years ago As such, the Homo-made musilanguage represents a halfway house between instinctive primate communication and grammatical language that appeared in modern humans around 200,000 years ago. A short synopsis of the ideas presented in this book is also found in my chapter entitled ‘Nine Reasons that Support Prehistoric Hominin Musicality and Musilanguage’ in the 2020 book ‘Music in Human Experience: Perspectives on a Musical Species’ edited by Johnathan Friedmann, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. [ISBN (10): 1-5275-8010-5 & (13): 978-1-5275-8010-7]
... Entrainment typically refers to the physical principles of modelocking between coupled oscillating systems [8], but here we define entrainment empirically as in [9]: the temporal alignment of a biological or behavioral process with the regularities in an exogenously occurring stimulus. In humans, this includes observed synchronization of movement to predictable rhythmic patterns such as isochronous or non-isochronous beats found in different musical cultures [10,11]. In order to model this behavior, we adopt a recent theoretical perspective which describes entrainment computationally as a dynamic inference of stimulus phase based on an internal model of rhythmic structure [9]. ...
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Long-term and culture-specific experience of music shapes rhythm perception, leading to enculturated expectations that make certain rhythms easier to track and more conducive to synchronized movement. However, the influence of enculturated bias on the moment-to-moment dynamics of rhythm tracking is not well understood. Recent modeling work has formulated entrainment to rhythms as a formal inference problem, where phase is continuously estimated based on precise event times and their correspondence to timing expectations: PIPPET (Phase Inference from Point Process Event Timing). Here we propose that the problem of optimally tracking a rhythm also requires an ongoing process of inferring which pattern of event timing expectations is most suitable to predict a stimulus rhythm. We formalize this insight as an extension of PIPPET called pPIPPET (PIPPET with pattern inference). The variational solution to this problem introduces terms representing the likelihood that a stimulus is based on a particular member of a set of event timing patterns, which we initialize according to culturally-learned prior expectations of a listener. We evaluate pPIPPET in three experiments. First, we demonstrate that pPIPPET can qualitatively reproduce enculturated bias observed in human tapping data for simple two-interval rhythms. Second, we simulate categorization of a continuous three-interval rhythm space by Western-trained musicians through derivation of a comprehensive set of priors for pPIPPET from metrical patterns in a sample of Western rhythms. Third, we simulate iterated reproduction of three-interval rhythms, and show that models configured with notated rhythms from different cultures exhibit both universal and enculturated biases as observed experimentally in listeners from those cultures. These results suggest the influence of enculturated timing expectations on human perceptual and motor entrainment can be understood as approximating optimal inference about the rhythmic stimulus, with respect to prototypical patterns in an empirical sample of rhythms that represent the music-cultural environment of the listener.
... First of all, they indicate that the mechanism Rhythmic entrainment plays an important role in emotional reactions to music-at least as far as popular music is concerned (see , for similar findings in a cross-cultural sample). Although this mechanism has received some serious attention (Clayton, 2012;Trost et al., 2017), experimental evidence proving that rhythmic entrainment during music listening is able to induce emotions is still limited (Juslin, 2019) and mixed (cf. Bason & Celler, 1972;Mütze et al., 2020). ...
Emotions have been found to play a paramount role in both everyday music experiences and health applications of music, but the applicability of musical emotions depends on: 1) which emotions music can induce, 2) how it induces them, and 3) how individual differences may be explained. These questions were addressed in a listening test, where 44 participants (aged 19–66 years) reported both felt emotions and subjective impressions of emotion mechanisms (Mec Scale), while listening to 72 pieces of music from 12 genres, selected using a stratified random sampling procedure. The results showed that: 1) positive emotions (e.g., happiness) were more prevalent than negative emotions (e.g., anger); 2) Rhythmic entrainment was the most and Brain stem reflex the least frequent of the mechanisms featured in the BRECVEMA theory; 3) felt emotions could be accurately predicted based on self-reported mechanisms in multiple regression analyses; 4) self-reported mechanisms predicted felt emotions better than did acoustic features; and 5) individual listeners showed partly different emotion-mechanism links across stimuli, which may help to explain individual differences in emotional responses. Implications for future research and applications of musical emotions are discussed.
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This qualitative interview-based study draws on the reported experiences of students and teachers to explore how agency and entrainment resource and constrain each other in joint music-making. The participants were 23 students of Grades 6 and 11 music teachers from different primary schools. The qualitative content analysis of the 11 student pair interviews and 11 one-to-one teacher interviews indicated that experiences of music-related interpersonal entrainment intertwine with different dimensions of agency. In the analysis, four themes were identified as follows: presence, belonging, safety, and continuity. These findings provide insights into the relationship between agency and entrainment in classroom-based joint music-making and provide a novel lens through which to examine the complementary experiences of students and teachers. This study builds bridges between the concepts of agency and entrainment in the context of music education, offering theoretical clarification as to how and why joint music-making can be considered an intersubjective activity that fosters group cohesion and social interaction. The findings further present a view of the constitutive nature of the relationship among agency, entrainment, and intersubjectivity in joint music-making. The findings offer educators concrete grounds for using joint music-making as a platform for an agency.
The incorporation of empathic systems in everyday life draws a lot of attention from society. Specifically, the use of wearables to perform stress regulation is a growing field of research. Among techniques explored, the haptic emulation of lowered physiological signals has been suggested to be promising. However, some discrepancies remain in empirical research focusing on such biofeedback (BF) regarding their efficacy, and the mechanisms underlying the effects of these wearables remains unclear. Moreover, the influence of individual traits on the efficiency of BF has been marginally studied, while it has been shown that personality could impact both stress and its regulation. The aim of this study is to investigate the outcome of interactions with these technologies from a psycho-physiological standpoint, but also to explore whether personality may influence its efficiency when other interaction devices are present. Participants had to play a challenging game while a lowered haptic BF of their heart rate was induced on their wrist. Results showed variable efficiency of the wearable among the participants: a subjective relaxation was evident for the participants exhibiting the highest neurotic and extraverted traits score. Our results highlight the plurality of the modes of action of these techniques, depending on the individual and on the level of stress to regulate. This study also suggests that tailoring these regulation methods to individual characteristics, such as personality traits, is important to consider, and proposes perspectives regarding the investigation of stress and regulation systems embedded in wearables.
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Entrainment in music refers to the interaction and synchronization of two or more rhythmic processes. The first part of this paper presents entrainment the­ory in ethnomusicology as a methodology for interdisciplinary research into musical, social, and cultural phenomena. The second part of the paper concerns the application of the concept of musical social entrainment in the example of tambura practice. Because tambura players display mutual entrainment through various behaviors during playing and social interaction, applying entrainment theory entails an analytical segmentation of the social and musical spheres in a specific musical performance.
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This paper investigates the phenomenon of entrainment between independent groups of musicians in the context of Afro-Brazilian Congado performance. Based on audiovisual recordings made during a festival in May 2006, we present analyses of four different occasions during which two different groups play different music in close proximity to each other. The results indicate the occurrence of (a) entrainment in phase, (b) entrainment out of phase, and (c) no entrainment. These results are discussed in the particular ethnographic context, as well as with reference to existing literature on entrainment and interpersonal coordination.
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We provide behavioural and quantitative analyses of coordination and synchronization in ensemble performance, using flamenco as a case study. The concept of ensemble is introduced and developed with the aid of connected network models, then applied to the flamenco ensemble. Flamenco performance is described in terms of ensemble interaction, including both the types of rhythmical accompaniment used by the individual classes of performer participating in the ensemble and the main sociocultural factors governing control of rhythm and cuing changes. These factors involve hierarchies relating to the degree to which each performer commands audience attention (focus) and the status of ensemble members within the company. We describe an observational approach to ensemble coordination with an event-based video analysis of a four-member ensemble performing a flamenco piece and a correlation-based motion analysis of two-person performance of simple rhythm. Copyright
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Past research has shown that interpersonal interactions are characterized by a tacit coordination of motor movements of the participants and has suggested that the emergent synchrony might be explained by a coupled oscillator dynamic. This study investigates whether unintended between-person coordination can be demonstrated in a laboratory task that will allow an evaluation of whether such dynamical processes are involved. Ten pairs of participants performed a simple rhythmic task in which they had visual information about each other's movements but had no goal to coordinate. A cross-spectral analysis of the movements revealed higher coherence and a distribution of relative phase angles that was dominated by values near 0° and 180°. These results support the hypothesis that dynamical organizing principles are involved in natural interpersonal synchrony.
A theory of attentional dynamics is proposed and aimed at explaining how listeners respond to systematic change in everyday events while retaining a general sense of their rhythmic structure. The approach describes attending as the behavior of internal oscillations, called attending rhythms, that are capable of entraining to external events and targeting attentional energy to expected points in time. A mathematical formulation of the theory describes internal oscillations that focus pulses of attending energy and interact in various ways to enable attentional tracking of events with complex rhythms. This approach provides reliable predictions about the role of attending to event time structure in rhythmical events that modulate in rate, as demonstrated in 3 listening experiments.
There is now a vigorous debate over the evolutionary status of music. Some scholars argue that humans have been shaped by evolution to be musical, while others maintain that musical abilities have not been a target of natural selection but reflect an alternative use of more adaptive cognitive skills. One way to address this debate is to break music cognition into its underlying components and determine whether any of these are innate, specific to music, and unique to humans. Taking this approach, Justus and Hutsler (2005) and McDermott and Hauser (2005) suggest that musical pitch perception can be explained without invoking natural selection for music. However, they leave the issue of musical rhythm largely unexplored. This comment extends their conceptual approach to musical rhythm and suggests how issues of innateness, domain specificity, and human specificity might be addressed. © 2006 by the Regents of the University of California. All Right Reserved.
Preface 1. Introduction Part I. Synchronization Without Formulae: 2. Basic notions: the self-sustained oscillator and its phase 3. Synchronization of a periodic oscillator by external force 4. Synchronization of two and many oscillators 5. Synchronization of chaotic systems 6. Detecting synchronization in experiments Part II. Phase Locking and Frequency Entrainment: 7. Synchronization of periodic oscillators by periodic external action 8. Mutual synchronization of two interacting periodic oscillators 9. Synchronization in the presence of noise 10. Phase synchronization of chaotic systems 11. Synchronization in oscillatory media 12. Populations of globally coupled oscillators Part III. Synchronization of Chaotic Systems: 13. Complete synchronization I: basic concepts 14. Complete synchronization II: generalizations and complex systems 15. Synchronization of complex dynamics by external forces Appendix 1. Discovery of synchronization by Christiaan Huygens Appendix 2. Instantaneous phase and frequency of a signal References Index.
Music is a high-level cognitive capacity, similar in many respects to language (Patel 2007). Like language, music is universal among humans, and musical systems vary among cultures and depend upon learning. But unlike language, music rarely makes reference to the external world. It consists of independent, that is, self-contained, patterns of sound, certain aspects of which are found universally among musical cultures. These two aspects – independence and universality – suggest that general principles of neural dynamics might underlie music perception and musical behavior. Such principles could provide a set of innate constraints that shape human musical behavior and enable children to acquire musical knowledge. This chapter outlines just such a set of principles, explaining key aspects of musical experience directly in terms of nervous system dynamics. At the outset, it may not be obvious that this is possible, but by the end of the chapter it should become clear that a great deal of evidence already supports this view. This chapter examines the evidence that links music perception and behavior to nervous system dynamics and attempts to tie together existing strands of research within a unified theoretical framework.