Seeing Music

August 21, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Peter Reuell reported on a study that found that we watch music more than we listen to it:

  • In a study participants were better able to identify the winners of a music competition by watching their performance with the audio on mute. Those who only listened to the audio – without any video – were not as successful in identifying winners.
  • The effect held true even with top level performers being evaluated by judges who were highly trained musicians.
  • This indicates that humans are innately more focused on visual rather than audio cues.
  • The effect might also be because among top performers the difference in music quality is indistinguishable and thus judges focus on differentiating visual factors such as the performer’s passion and energy.

Read more about why orchestras have turned to blind auditions, why this might not be a solution, and more about the study over here.

Source: Harvard Gazette