There is a quality of music that makes people tap their feet, rock their head, and get up and dance. The consistency of this experience among listeners was examined, in terms of differences in ratings across 64 music examples taken from commercially available recordings. Results show that ratings of groove, operationally defined as “wanting to move some part of the body in relation to some aspect of the sound pattern,” exhibited considerable interindividual consistency. Covariance patterns among the 14 rated words indicated four prominent factors, which could be labeled regular-irregular, groove, having swing, and flowing. Considering the wide range of music examples used, these factors are interpreted as reflecting psychological dimensions independent of musical genre and style.
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