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Daniel J Levitin, Jessica A Grahn, and Justin London (2017)

The psychology of music: Rhythm and movement

Annual Review of Psychology , 69.

The urge to move to music is a human universal. Unlike visual art which is manifest across space, music is manifest across time. When listeners get carried away by the music, either through movement (such as dancing) or through reverie (such as trance), it is usually the temporal qualities of the music—its pulse, tempo, and rhythmic patterns—that put them in this state. Here we review 178 studies addressing rhythm, meter, movement, synchronization, entrainment, the perception of "groove," and other temporal factors that constitute a first step to understanding how and why music literally "moves us." The experiments we review span a range of methodological techniques, including neuroimaging, psychophysics, and traditional behavioral experiments, and we also summarize the current studies of animal synchronization, engaging an evolutionary perspective on human rhythmic perception and cognition.

music, rhythm
in press

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