Thery Al Alam has recently graduated from the University of Sheffield with an MA in Psychology of Music. During her postgraduate studies, she grew an interest in diverse topics including music in multimedia and the consumption of music in the digital age. This defined the focus of her master’s dissertation on the perception and experience of music in Virtual Reality. She is currently working on turning this research project into a publishable article.
Besides her ardor for the psychology of music, Thery is a multi-instrumentalist who enjoys improvising with musicians and writing music for film. She is also a healthcare professional who has completed a degree in pharmacy in 2017. Born and raised in Lebanon, she is currently seeking a career in which she could contribute to the technological development of various fields including music performance and composition, sound design and therapy.
Entering the musician’s world: the use of VR to heighten emotions in music.
The emergence of immersive technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR), might change the way people produce and consume music in the modern age. However, little research has regarded these technologies’ influence on the users’ perception and experience of music.
This study evaluated participants’ sense of presence in the display environment and their music-induced and perceived emotions when the same music video is in VR or on desktop. Variables were measured using self-report questionnaires and emotions followed a three-dimensional model (pleasantness, tense arousal and energetic arousal). Participants experienced a higher sense of presence and more pleasant emotions in VR compared to the desktop condition. Moreover, there were significant correlations between presence and music-induced and perceived emotions in both conditions. Finally, quantitative analysis and interview data revealed a possible influence of previous experience with VR and other variables related to the technology, media content and user characteristics on the findings.