Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Joel Snyder

Second Committee Member

Erin Hannon

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Rennels

Fourth Committee Member

Diego Vega

Number of Pages



Listening to groovy music is an enjoyable experience and a ubiquitous human behavior in some cultures. Specifically, many listeners agree that high-groove songs are enjoyable, familiar, and likable compared to low-groove songs. While the pleasurable and dance-inducing effects of musical groove listening seem omnipresent, what is less known is how subjective feelings towards music, individual musical or dance experiences, or more objective musical perception abilities are correlated with the way we hear music with groove. Therefore, the present online study aimed to evaluate how musical and dance sophistication relates to musical groove perception. One-hundred and twenty-four participants completed an online study where they rated 20 total high- and low-groove songs and completed the Goldsmith Musical Sophistication Index, the Goldsmith Dance Sophistication Index, the Beat and Meter Sensitivity Task, and a modified short version of the Profile for Music Perception Skills. Our results show that perceptual abilities, musical training, body awareness, participatory dance experience, and performance on a variety of musical skills tasks could predict rating differences between high- and low-groove music. Overall, these findings support that listeners’ individual experiences and innate abilities may shape their perception of musical groove, although other causal directions are possible as well. This research helps better understand the correlates and possible causes of musical groove perception in a wide range of listeners.


Auditory; Dance; Experience; Groove; Movement; Training


Dance | Music | Psychology

File Format


File Size

900 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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