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MICRO - Human Bodily Micromotion in Music Perception and Interaction

How and why does music make us move? This project will investigate how music influences what we may call micromotion, such as the tiny motion observed when people try to stand still.

About the project

This project seeks to investigate the close couplings between musical sound and human bodily micromotion. Micromotion is here used to describe the smallest motion that we are able to produce and experience, typically at a rate smaller than 10 mm/s. The last decades have seen an increased focus on the role of the human body in both the performance and the perception of music. Up to now, however, the micro-level of these experiences has received little attention. This project will investigate music-related micromotion of people experiencing music (perceivers), with an aim of contributing to:

  • knowledge about how musical sound influences human motion at the micro-level. This will be based on literature studies, theoretical modelling, and a longitudinal observational study as well as three large-scale experiments of sound-motion relationships.
  • a large, annotated and metadata-rich database of the micromotion recordings mentioned above. The database will be central to the current project, and will also be made available for future research in the field. 
  • conceptual models and software tools for using micromotion to control musical sound in computer-based systems. Such musical microinteraction can be used for music performance or production, or for "active listening".

The project will be based on recent theories of embodied music cognition, combining musical phenomenology with new models from cognitive neuroscience. Methodologically, the project will span widely, from introspection and discussion in small groups to statistical analysis of motion capture recordings and development of new interactive music systems.



  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2017). Expert Commentary: Pushing The Sensor Boundaries In Digital Musical Instruments, In Michael J. Lyons & Alexander Refsum Jensenius (ed.),  A NIME Reader: Fifteen Years of New Interfaces for Musical Expression.  Springer Science+Business Media B.V..  ISBN 978-3-319-47213-3.  Expert Commentary.  s 402 - 403
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2017). Exploring music-related micromotion, In Clemens Wöllner (ed.),  Body, Sound and Space in Music and Beyond: Multimodal Explorations.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781472485403.  Chapter.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2017). Sonic Microinteraction in "the Air", In Micheline Lesaffre; Pieter-Jan Maes & Marc Leman (ed.),  The Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction.  Routledge.  ISBN 9781138657403.  46.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius; Victor Evaristo Gonzalez Sanchez; Agata Zelechowska & Kari Anne Vadstensvik Bjerkestrand (2017). Exploring the Myo controller for sonic microinteraction, In Cumhur Erkut (ed.),  Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression.  Aalborg University Copenhagen.  KAPITTEL.  s 442 - 445
  • Ragnhild Torvanger Solberg & Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). Optical or Inertial? Evaluation of Two Motion Capture Systems for Studies of Dancing to Electronic Dance Music, In Georg Hajdu & Rolf Großmann (ed.),  Proceedings of the SMC Conferences.  Logos Verlag Berlin.  ISBN 978-3-00-053700-4.  Chapter.  s 469 - 474

View all works in Cristin

  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2017). From Interactive music-dance to clinical tool for cerebral palsy.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2017). Åpen forskning – et humanistisk-teknologisk perspektiv.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius; Victor Evaristo Gonzalez Sanchez; Agata Zelechowska & Kari Anne Vadstensvik Bjerkestrand (2017). Exploring the Myo controller for sonic microinteraction.
  •  (2017). Han brukte fire år på å få forskningsstøtte.
  •  (2017). Vil finne magien i musikken.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). Musikk som beveger.
  • Bo Zhou & Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). The Musical Gestures Toolbox – Towards Digital Musicology in Matlab.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). Exploring Music-related Micromotion in the Artistic-Scientific Research Project Sverm.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). Why does technology help music become more human?.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). Musikk som beveger.
  • Alexander Refsum Jensenius (2016). The Influence of Music on Human Standstill.
  •  (2016). Edges.
  •  (2016). Musikk, dansefot og gåsehud.
  •  (2016). Slik påvirker musikk og dans oss.
  •  (2016). Mennesket er avhengig av rytme.
  •  (2016). Musikkforsker: Pussig at man må sitte stille på klassisk konsert.
  •  (2016). Den nye luksusen den absolutte tyssnad....
  •  (2016). Hvordan påvirkes musikk og dans av hverandre?.

View all works in Cristin

Tags: musicology, music technology, music cognition, embodiment
Published July 4, 2016 11:16 AM - Last modified Mar. 9, 2017 9:05 PM


Alexander Refsum Jensenius
+ 47 22 84 48 34


The Project is financed by The Research Council of Norway.


2016 - 2020

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