Looking at the Audience Improves Music Appreciation

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Abstract

The establishment of eye contact between a musician and his or her listeners, and its influence on musical perception, has been neglected by musical performance research. Two experiments were conducted to verify the hypothesis that increased eye contact between musician and audience leads the latter to better appreciate the music performed by the former. In the first experiment a musician played and sang three pieces, whereas in the second study he played without vocal support. The results of both experiments showed that directing the musicians' gaze toward the audience enhanced the qualities of the musical experience.

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