Generalizability of Sight vs. sound Effect: Evidence from Brass Ensemble Competition in Japan
Presenter Name:Tomohiro Samma
School/Affiliation:Keio University (Japan)
Co-Authors:Patrick E. Savage, Shinya Fujii
How do people use auditory and visual information to judge musical performance? Contrary to the belief that audition should be more important than vision in judgement of musical performance, visual judgements were shown to be more accurate than audition for choosing the winner of piano competitions (Tsay, PNAS, 2013).Although this “sight-over-sound” effect was directly replicated using Tsay’s original stimuli, the generalizability of the effect to other stimuli and genres is debated (Mehr et al., PLoS ONE, 2018; Chiba et al., PsyArXiv, 2021).
In this study, we tested if the “sight-over-sound” effect was generalizable to judging the performance in brass ensemble competition in Japan. 285 participants without experience in instructing brass ensemble were included. 92.6% of participants reported subjectively that sound should be more important than vision in the ensemble judgement and no differences were found according to brass ensemble or musical experience. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the three judgement conditions: 1) Audio-only, 2) Visual-only and 3) Audio-Visual conditions. Interestingly, our data suggest that participants who did not have experience performing in brass ensembles were more accurate with video-only (~45% accuracy) than audio-only (~35%), while this effect was not observed for brass-ensemble musicians, who were if anything slightly more accurate with audio-only (~40%) than video-only (~37%).
Our result suggests that sight vs. sound effects in judgement of music performance may be subtle and context-dependent.