If you’re in a band, you know that a successful performance depends on all the musicians getting in tune. A study claims that playing in rhythm has other benefits. This would help strengthen the bonds of people who make music together.
English and Australian researchers came to this surprising conclusion after conducting an experiment with 49 students aged 18 to 25. These volunteers were divided into groups of two or three, before having to carry out a musical creation exercise. They were invited to play percussion during jam sessions lasting around ten minutes, using MIDI keyboards.
At the same time, the study participants had to evaluate, every minute, the feeling of belonging they felt towards the members of their respective group. Their overall level of happiness was also measured before and after the jam sessions, so the academics could determine whether making music together is good for morale.
Good in his body, good in his head!
Being in tune with others
It turns out that the participants who played in rhythm, for long minutes, with the members of their group felt very close to them. The researchers did not observe the same phenomenon in volunteers who were out of sync with their playmates. “It appears that there is a fundamental need to experience being ‘in sync’ with others. other people, because more than half of the groups of two or three people we put together had it emerge naturally within a few minutes,” Professor Warren Mansell, co-author of the study, told Psypost.
Interestingly, volunteers who played in rhythm with their partners felt close to them even though they didn’t know them before the experiment. This suggests that the simple act of making music in a group strengthens the feeling of belonging.
But this activity is not enough to make those who practice it happier. “The assessment of happiness before the musical exercise was no different from that made after the exercise was finished, which suggests that happiness was not influenced by the musical activity as a whole or by the occurrence of synchronization (between members of the same group)”, underline Professor Warren Mansell and his colleagues in the study, published in the journal Psychology of Music.
This research shows that group music is a powerful vector of social bonding, even if it has certain methodological limitations. It opens up interesting perspectives on how the fourth art can increase pro-social behavior. So, don’t hesitate to make music with your loved ones, it will strengthen the bonds that unite you.