Interpersonal musical entrainment—temporal synchronization and coordination between individuals in musical contexts—is a ubiquitous phenomenon related to music’s social functions of promoting group bonding and cohesion. Mechanisms other than sensorimotor synchronization are rarely discussed, while little is known about cultural variability or about how and why entrainment has social effects. In order to close these gaps, we propose a new model that distinguishes between different components of interpersonal entrainment: sensorimotor synchronization—a largely automatic process manifested especially with rhythms based on periodicities in the 100–2000 ms timescale—and coordination, extending over longer timescales and more accessible to conscious control. We review the state of the art in measuring these processes, mostly from the perspective of action production, and in so doing present the first cross-cultural comparisons between interpersonal entrainment in natural musical performances, with an exploratory analysis that identifies factors that may influence interpersonal synchronization in music. Building on this analysis we advance hypotheses regarding the relationship of these features to neurophysiological, social, and cultural processes. We propose a model encompassing both synchronization and coordination processes and the relationship between them, the role of culturally shared knowledge, and of connections between entrainment and social processes.
Clayton, M., Jakubowski, K., Eerola, T., Keller, P., Camurri, A., Volpe, G., & Alborno, P. (2020). Interpersonal entrainment in music performance: Theory, method and model. Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 38(2), 136-194. https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2020.38.2.136