Instrumenting the Interaction


To gain a better understanding of the underlying affective and communicative processes that occur during collaborative musical interactions, we carried out an exploratory study where we collected self-report and continuous behavioural and physiological measures from pairs of improvising drummers. Our analyses revealed interesting relationships between creative decisions and changes in heart rate. Self reported measures of creativity, engagement, and energy were correlated with body motion; whilst EEG beta-band activity was correlated with self reported positivity and leadership. Regarding co-visibility, lack of visual contact between musicians had a negative influence on self reported creativity. The number of glances between musicians was positively correlated with rhythmic synchrony, and the average length of glances was correlated with self reported boredom. Our results indicate that ECG, motion, and glance measurements could be particularly suitable for the investigation of collaborative music making.

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