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INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC

Public interaction and communication in a musical environment


Robin Coats, Rehema Nshatsi, and Tante Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC

Music has been around for centuries and exists in many different forms and styles.
From country music to rap and classical it defines a form of enjoyment for all age groups.
According to North and Greaves (1999) music listening is consistently rated as the most
favored way of spending time indoors (as cited in McFerran et al., 2002). Listening to
music is not only used indoors but it is also used throughout daily life. It is played in cars,
played during exercise, and is even used as a form of relaxation. According to a study on
music listening, the role of music is stated as a source of relieving tension, taking mind
off of things, passing time, and negating boredom, as well as helping with the feeling of
loneliness and creating and maintaining a good mood (Gantz & Gartenberg, 1978).
In this experiment music was used to improve comfort in a specific environment.
Music is very important to the human species and provides a passage in which
relationships are built and causes people to interact emotionally, not only with
themselves, but also with others. An experiment was conducted to determine if music
affects social behavior and interaction amongst college students.

Methods
Participants
The participants in this experiment were college students that are currently
attending The University Of North Carolina at Charlotte that were passing through the

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC


student union. College students were used because majority of the people who are on

UNC Charlotte's campus are enrolled at the school. The people that were calculated were
the ones that happened to be present in the union when music wasnt being played, and
when it was. The average age of subjects for this experiment ranges from approximately
18 years old to 22 years old. The controlled group that was used in this experiment were
UNC Charlotte students who were in the union around 5:00pm on a Wednesday.
Measures
The interaction that occurred between people in the union was measured for this
experiment. The presence of interaction in the union was determined by the
communication that took place between two or more subjects. The movement of the body
in sync with the music that was playing was also another way to point out interaction
between people. The amount of students who were present in the union for that certain
amount of time, who were not just passing by, was also measured.
Procedure
The first step in the experiment is to calculate the number of people in the chosen
setting before music is being played. The experiment will not be accurate if a tally of
people before music is played is not calculated. The next step is to decide what type of
music needs to be played. In the experiment, in order to play music successfully and
attract a majority of people there needs to be a playlist of music on an electronic device,
which could be a laptop, iPod or cellular device. Next songs of popularity need to be
chosen. The songs need to be of interest to the crowd of people in which music is being
played for. Be sure to acquire a set of speakers to set up to your electronic device. Find a
location in which the environment for socializing is suitable. Finally music needs to be

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC


played and a tally of people should be calculated again and observance of the interaction
amongst people must be noted.
Results
Before the music was played, few people were sitting down while others
continued to pass through the lounging area. In order to form results for this experiment,
student engagement in conversation and the atmosphere around them needed to be
observed. Between the ten people that were seated, there was hardly any interaction.

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC

When music began playing, gradually more people began to hang around the area.
There then were a new total of 58 people filling the chairs, standing around, talking,
laughing and even dancing.

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC


Discussion
In conclusion music made a notable difference in the interaction amongst the
University of North Carolina at Charlotte students, in the student union. At the time the
music was played, there was an increase in the interaction and the amount of people in
the student union. As previously stated music can be used to release stress ; to clear the
mind, allow time to fly, as well as creating a positive atmosphere (Gantz & Gartenberg
1978).
The experiment conducted proved that music increased the interaction and
released tension amongst college students allowing for a new environment to be created
in which people felt free to talk, dance, and socially interact with each other. By
observing people engaging in conversation, and hearing laughter fill the atmosphere,
proves that music had an effect on human interaction.

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC

References
Gold,C.,Voracek,M.,Wigram,T.(2004).The affects of music therapy for children and
adolescents with psychopathology: a meta-analysis,1.

McFerran,K.,OGrady,L.,Grocke,D.,Sawyer,M.S.(2002).How teenagers use music to


manage their mood:an initial investigation,1-16.

Pereira,C.S.,Teixeira,J.,Figueirdo,P.,Xavier,J.,Castro,S.L.,Brattico,E.(2011)Music and
emotions in the brain: familiarity matters.1-9.

INTERACTION THROUGH MUSIC