Aesthetic Judgments of Live and Recorded Music.

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Jasmine Moradi:
You also told me earlier in our conversations, that you also worked and done some testing on live-streaming. Do you want to talk a little short about that?
 
Amy Belfi:
Oh yeah, yeah. So this is a totally shifting gears away from the memory of Alzheimer’s stuff. This was a project we just published, I don’t know two weeks ago, maybe a couple of weeks ago. We were interested in the question of “How is experiencing a live concert different from experiencing a streamed concert or watching a recorded concert?”. So, what we did was we had participants come to a concert it was at my University, it was a University band, an army band. There was like an army base right next to our college.  There’s a collaboration with a guy from west point at the US Military Academy.
 
So, our first question was the difference between a live concert and a stream concert. The second question was,  the army band director was kind of interested in you know “What kind of music do people like best when an army band plays?” “Do they want to hear like US patriotic music, or do they like to hear just other non you know generic music?.
 
So, each band played two pieces of music. They each played a patriotic piece of music and a just generic band piece of music. During the music we had participants rate how much they were liking music and so when people do this live, and then we have another set of participants come into the lab and watch the recorded version of the concert and do the ratings.  What we found was that there was actually less difference between the live and the lab recorded condition that we expected. We saw very minimal differences that’s not to say that there’s no difference between a live concert and a recorded one. There is a difference it’s just I think our measure, we were asking people how much do you like this song, and I think people were able I mean they like I think it’s encouraging for right now during Covid-19, suggesting that people do enjoy like recorded. You know video concerts if they can’t go to the live thing.
 
Did you ask conscious or subconscious?
 
Amy Belfi:
Yeah, we just had people rate,  an explicit rating, so we said rate how much you how much are you enjoying the music right now at the present moment, and they used like a slight a scale on their cell phone where they would go like this to make more they would spread their fingers to make more say I like it more they would close their fingers say I like it less.
 
So, people they would use the whole rating scale so, and they didn’t know like the people in the lab didn’t know that the alternative was a concert. You know we didn’t have the same people to do both, so I think when I think there might be there’s probably a difference if you know your alternative is going to a concert you’re probably going to rate the recorded version worse, but the only option is the recorded version then I think you still like it. So I suspect that’s why we didn’t see a difference that because people didn’t know the other condition was an option, that when asked to rate this the video version people still liked it.
 
Well if you don’t ask the both question if you only ask one of them but if you would ask them in the same person the two of them. Yeah, so  had the same person go to the concert and to the lab they probably would like the lab worse because it’s not in the concert but the reason we didn’t do that is because we didn’t want people to have heard the same. We wanted them to be hearing the pieces for the very first time because then you have all these repetition effects and there would be an order effect like we couldn’t anytime you do an experiment where you have two conditions and the same people you want to balance, or you don’t want everyone doing the concert first and then the lab second. So we couldn’t have balanced anyway, yeah we didn’t I. don’t want to get into the research methods here but yeah, so we did different groups the takeaway is that people like it if you don’t have the option of going to a live concert. 
 
A recorded concert is a reasonable alternative that people will still like. The main focus though of the main interesting result I think that we found was that people liked we call it congruent, but people liked the army band playing the patriotic song better than the non-patriotic song, and they liked the university band playing the non-patriotic song better than the patriotic songs. So they seem to like the pieces of music that were congruent or fitting with the band and our explanation is that people expect to hear an army band play military patriotic pieces. So I think that you know has implications for programming bands you know determining what they’re going to play.
 
Yeah, kind of the idea of congruence I think does fit with the branding you know, the idea that you want your whole, you want your audio and your visual to kind of match and have the same feel to it, because people like it better when you have this congruent kind of synchronous picture I guess, that the sound and the images are together.
 
Jasmine Moradi:
But, this is why it’s so interesting that not just talk about research that is done on branding, but also like in other contexts where it has to do with humans and the brain and the music to understand the importance of the effect. Because sometimes people in branding, yeah they don’t really get it if you keep talking about the branding. But then I want to know the last question is what is your dream project? If you could just choose anything you dreamt about researching and with any brand or any whatever what would that be?
 
Amy Belfi:
Yeah, it’s a really good question. It’s so funny I feel like we’re kind of limited you know by feasibility, so thinking about like dreaming big it’s not something I really do. I guess not to say that I’m not anything small, but I think I like kind of getting back at the whole question about why does music work with patients with Alzheimer’s disease? I would probably pursue something along that lines like doing some systematic research drawing from my stuff that I did with like the music and memories from the Billboard charts and the faces.
 
I would probably do more work on that line looking at it with persons with Alzheimer’s disease, really trying to get it how does music work to revive memories to trigger memories.  I guess what certain aspects of a person make them well suited to these types of music. I would love to work with like music therapists to actually work on developing like interventions based on basic research to help use music in a more effective way to you know kind of evoke memories and associate emotions in this population. I would probably do a series of experiments looking at those kinds of questions.
 
Jasmine Moradi:
Amy, thank you so much it’s been such a pleasure talking about all your importance research.
 
Amy Belfi:
Really yeah this is great. Thanks so much for having me it was fun.
 
Jasmine Moradi:
You’re welcome, and if people want to learn more about you and read your research more in depth?
 
Amy Belfi:
They can go to my website it’s just www.amybelfie.com. My contact information’s on there. Feel free to reach out via email if they have any questions.