ProjectSound for Learning and Health

Sound for Learning and Health

For thousands of years, music has been a communicator of emotions and moods. This capacity has been utilized not only in art but also in for example therapy for the purpose of relaxation and pain reduction.

Another very powerful feature of sound is that it is omni-directional – you do not have to point your ears in a certain direction to be able to hear a sound. In combination with digital media, these properties of sound and music can be put into play. At Sonic we are exploring novel ideas and designs that addresses our bodies emotionally and physically. From large scale computer games to mobile devices for stress reduction.

Physical Listening Tool

The Physical Listening Tool is a software application for studying the links between music, perception andphysiology.

With the Physical Listening Tool, experimenters making observations of physiological changes induced by musical stimuli, have precise control over the music used in experiments. This software application that helps us to correlate physiological data with features of individuated musical parameters. We synthesize musical stimuli for our experiments in real-time. The features of the stimuli are variable through adjustments to individuated musical parameters. Either the experimenter or the subject may modify the variables controlling each musical parameter depending on the requirements of the experimental scenario.

Real-time changes to the musical material are preserved in symbolic form (MIDI data) re-synthesis for later analysis. For example, during an experiment the tempo or harmonic complexity of the musical stimuli may be modified in precisely measurable increments, and correlated to physiological readings associated with each version. We are seeking combinations of physiological sensor readings that will provide the most detailed information about listener responses.


Music affects us in various ways. It can release tension, worries and help us relax, hence improving our wellbeing.

Biofeedback Music is a research project in which we combine music with technology, using the music as a means for relaxation. In one part of the project we are searching for relations between emotional states and musical parameters. The aim is to develop a wearable device that produces customized music for relaxation that interacts with biosensors measuring the listeners’ level of stress. The prototype we have developed for this purpose is named BodyResT. By using music for relaxation and stress reduction, the Biofeedback Music will result in an improvement of the users’ health and overall wellbeing. Biofeedback Music is developed in co-operation with the Department of Health Science at Luleå University of Technology.

BodyResT - Leaflet (pdf)