Walking on music

Hum Mov Sci. 2007 Oct;26(5):769-85. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2007.07.007. Epub 2007 Oct 1.


The present study focuses on the intricate relationship between human body movement and music, in particular on how music may influence the way humans walk. In an experiment, participants were asked to synchronize their walking tempo with the tempo of musical and metronome stimuli. The walking tempo and walking speed were measured. The tempi of the stimuli varied between 50 and 190 beats per minute. The data revealed that people walk faster on music than on metronome stimuli and that walking on music can be modeled as a resonance phenomenon that is related to the perceptual resonance phenomenon as described by Van Noorden and Moelants (Van Noorden, L., & Moelants, D. (1999). Resonance in the perception of musical pulse. Journal of New Music Research, 28, 43-66).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Music*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception
  • Walking / physiology*