Virtual Musicality : Soundtrack enters VR

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för informationsteknologi


Virtual Reality (VR) can potentially transport the user to another world. Outside of VR, musical soundtrack is usually placed outside of the scene, referred to as non-diegetic sound. In VR, this could potentially break immersion. Other ways to implement music have to be tested.

A test was created consisting of three scenes with a wide selection of “listening modes”, or musical configurations. The listening modes ranged from non-diegetic stereo music via headphones to diegetic, played from speakers inside the VR spaces. 10 respondents played through the scenes in VR, experiencing every listening mode. Respondents then replied to a questionnaire gathering their thoughts on their experience.

Results showed that immersion improved the more the experience corresponded to expectations from outside of VR. Non-diegetic listening modes were considered less immersive than diegetic listening modes.

This study lays a basic foundation for further research on music in VR with initial guidelines for proper implementation.

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