Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Edward A. Roth

Second Advisor

Dr. Sangwoo Lee

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Fiore


Singing, synchrony, motion capture, movement, familiarity

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In a time when social isolation and decreased in-person interactions pose increasing risks for physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it is more important than ever to find ways to combat the negative consequences of social isolation. Moving in synchrony with others and singing with others have both been identified as social activities through which social bonding may occur, yet little is known about the role of natural movement synchrony in group singing. This study sought to explore the feasibility of using motion capture technology to examine the natural head movements of groups of four participants singing together. The study consisted of two experimental groups: one group of previously-acquainted individuals, and one group of “strangers” with an unknown relationship prior to participation. Results of this study outline the feasibility of the methodology and outcome variables and provide a comparison of estimated levels of group synchrony between the two experimental groups. Findings suggest that the methodology was feasible overall, and motion capture analysis revealed that while the participants’ overall amount of head movement was minimal in both groups, the unfamiliar group (strangers) may have experienced greater levels of movement synchrony between participants. These findings may inform future research on the relationship between interpersonal familiarity and movement synchrony in small-group singing.