FeelMusic: Enriching Our Emotive Experience of Music through Audio-Tactile Mappings

Alice Haynes*, Jonathan Lawry, Chris Kent, Jonathan M Rossiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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We present and evaluate the concept of FeelMusic and evaluate an implementation of it. It is an augmentation of music through the haptic translation of core musical elements. Music and touch are intrinsic modes of affective communication that are physically sensed. By projecting musical features such as rhythm and melody into the haptic domain, we can explore and enrich this embodied sensation; hence, we investigated audio-tactile mappings that successfully render emotive qualities. We began by investigating the affective qualities of vibrotactile stimuli through a psychophysical study with 20 participants using the circumplex model of affect. We found positive correlations between vibration frequency and arousal across participants, but correlations with valence were specific to the individual. We then developed novel FeelMusic mappings by translating key features of music samples and implementing them with “Pump-and-Vibe”, a wearable interface utilising fluidic actuation and vibration to generate dynamic haptic sensations. We conducted a preliminary investigation to evaluate the FeelMusic mappings by gathering 20 participants’ responses to the musical, tactile and combined stimuli, using valence ratings and descriptive words from Hevner’s adjective circle to measure affect. These mappings, and new tactile compositions, validated that FeelMusic interfaces have the potential to enrich musical experiences and be a means of affective communication in their own right. FeelMusic is a tangible realisation of the expression “feel the music”, enriching our musical experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalMultimodal Technologies and Interaction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: A.H. is supported through the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, grant EP/N509619/1. J.R. is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Chair in Emerging Technologies and by the EPSRC through grants EP/M020460/1, EP/R02961X/1, EP/S026096/1 and EP/T020792/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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