Bodies in Concert at the 2023 Stavanger Symfoniorkester PULS & RYTME Lydo concerts

What does it mean to be “together” in music during orchestral performance? RITMO has teamed up with the Stavanger Symfoniorkester (SSO) for a unique and educational research concert series. 

This project investigates when and how performers' and audience members' bodies act together during classical music concerts. Music performances bring bodies into different relationships and we study coordination across performance roles and musical arrangements. This concert series for students gives an important view into how young people engage with classical music.

What is the purpose of the project?

This project explores how orchestral musicians communicate with each other and the audience, and how feelings of togetherness arise during concert performances. We are especially interested in how body rhythms—including expressive body motion and physiological rhythms like heart rate and breathing—align between people who are playing or listening to music together, and fluctuate in relation to the characteristics of the music

The Concert

  • Set list

The Science

This rich dataset will support multiple research streams. For example:

  • Communication and time: How do the gestures of the conductor during tempo changes transfer across the ensemble? 
  • Coordination between players: Within sections, when are performers’ heart rates and respiration most aligned? What about between sections?
  • Audience to orchestra: How do audience behaviours like silent attention and noisy applause affect professional performers? How is applause duration negotiated between audience and those onstage?
  • For science: Are these patterns robust across repeated performances?



Published Nov. 18, 2022 6:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 29, 2022 3:58 PM