Music Perception through Localized Tactile Input: What Parameters of Musical Pieces are Perceived when Delivered via Localized Tactile Input

University essay from Luleå/Department of Arts, Communication and Education

Abstract: Can music be experienced without it being heard audibly? Musicians and listeners talk about feeling the music or music’s feel but what are these feelings? One way to isolate this part of the musical experience is to consider: what musical parameters can be detected and perceived if musical pieces only where delivered via localized tactile input to one hand? This essay focuses on tactile perception of recorded music, when it can only be physically felt. An experiment with experienced musician subjects where asked to report in writing on experiences of musical pieces being delivered only tactically to their hand. Results show that multiple musical parameters such as pulse, dynamics and expression are indeed possible to extract and perceive. Results also show that other parameters such as pitch, harmony & form are harder to extract even though it still is possible to partially perceive it. The reasons for these difficulties and other phenomena are discussed.