The influence of sound waves and musical experiences on movement coordination with beats

Ravisara Vathagavorakul*, Tomohiro Gonjo, Miwako Homma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synchronizing movement with external stimuli is important in musicians and athletes. This study investigated the effects of sound characteristics, including sound with harmonics (square wave) and without harmonics (sine wave) and levels of expertise in sports and music on rhythmic ability. Thirty-two university students participated in the study. The participants were divided into sixteen music education (ME) and sixteen physical education (PE) majors. They were asked to perform finger tapping tasks with 1,2 and 3 Hz beat rates, tapping in time with the sine and square wave beat produced by a metronome. The relative phase angle of finger tapping and the onset time of metronome sound were calculated using circular statistics. The results showed that type of wave and music experience affected the rhythmic ability of participants. Our study highlights the importance of types of waves on rhythmic ability, especially for participants with no background in music. The square wave is recommended for athletes to learn to synchronize their movement with beats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103170
JournalHuman Movement Science
Early online date2 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Finger tapping
  • Movement coordination with beats
  • Rhythmic activity
  • Sound waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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