Moving to the Beat: Studying Entrainment to Micro-Rhythmic Changes in Pulse by Motion Capture
Pulse is a fundamental reference for the production and perception of rhythm. In this paper, we study entrainment to changes in the micro-rhythmic design of the basic pulse of the groove in ‘Left & Right’ by D’Angelo. In part 1 of the groove the beats have one specific position; in part 2, on the other hand, the different rhythmic layers specify two simultaneous but alternative beat positions that are approximately 50-80 ms apart. We first anticipate listeners’ perceptual response using the theories of entrainment and dynamic attending as points of departure. We then report on a motion capture experiment aimed at engaging listeners’ motion patterns in response to the two parts of the tune. The results show that when multiple onsets are introduced in part 2, the half note becomes a significant additional level of entrainment and the temporal locations of the perceived beats are drawn towards the added onsets.