What is it about?

Playing music together with others can lead to strong experiences of "togetherness". This paper examines piano duet playing, and shows how feelings of musical togetherness relate to pianists' focus of attention and body coordination.

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Why is it important?

This study examines the relationship between "moving together" and "feeling together". It makes a novel attempt to bridge the gap between phenomena that are experienced (togetherness) and behavioural patterns that can be observed and measured (body coordination). The findings show how both the experiential and behavioural dimensions of ensemble playing are affected by whether collaborating musicians have the same expressive goals.


As a pianist and scientist, this study addresses a personal question for me. Practicing music with others can be very rewarding if we are aligned in our expectations, but it can also be frustrating if you feel that the other person is not paying much attention. How do duet partners communicate their attention, and what makes some ensemble situations so enjoyable and rewarding?

Laura Bishop
University of Oslo

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Focus of attention affects togetherness experiences and body interactivity in piano duos., Psychology of Aesthetics Creativity and the Arts, March 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/aca0000555.
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