The work has been about exploring the use of musical structure in the design of sonifications to support physical activity through people’s implicit and embodied understanding of high-level musical concepts.

Joseph Newbold, “Musical expectancy within movement sonification to overcome low self-efficacy” PhD Thesis, 2019

Specifically, I have explored the use of musical expectation on the way people move and perceive their movement. Since people have a predefined expectation for how music with continue/conclude and use external feedback to build their body perception,  by using a sonification which either meets expectation or defies it, the sonification itself can encourage the conclusion or continuation of a movement.

We have been exploring in this in the context of general well-being, through supporting people who struggle with squats, and in the context of physical rehabilitation of chronic pain to support movement past perceived boundaries.

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By combining the informative feedback of sonification, with the encouragement from musical expectation, these sonifications aim to build self-efficacy by informing individuals on their capabilities and offering support and affirmation through musical cues.


This work included both the development of these sonifications and experimentation in the form of listening tests, quantitive lab studies as well as qualitative interviews studies and participatory design.