The present study aims to gain better insight into the connection between music and dance by examining the dynamic effects of the bass drum on a dancing audience in a club-like environment. One hundred adult participants moved freely in groups of five to a musical sequence that comprised six songs. Each song consisted of one section that was repeated three times, each time with a different sound pressure level of the bass drum. Hip and head movements were recorded using motion capture and motion sensing. The study demonstrates that people modify their bodily behavior according to the dynamic level of the bass drum when moving to contemporary dance music in a social context. Participants moved more actively and displayed a higher degree of tempo entrainment as the sound pressure level of the bass drum increased. These results indicate that the prominence of the bass drum in contemporary dance music serves not merely as a stylistic element; indeed, it has a strong influence on dancing itself.
- Received July 13, 2011.
- Accepted May 29, 2012.
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