Exploring the potential of virtual reality technology to investigate the health and well being benefits of group singing

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There is a growing body of academic research aiming to quantify and understand the associated health and well being benefits of group singing. The social interaction is known to strongly contribute to perceived improvements to mental and physical health but there are also indications that singing together elicits better well being outcomes that other community activities. This paper introduces the Vocal Interaction in an Immersive Virtual Acoustic (VIIVA) system, which allows the user to take part in a group singing activity in 360 degree virtual reality, hearing themselves in the recorded venue alongside the other singers. The VIIVA is intended to make group singing accessible to those unable to attend real community choirs but also as a tool for experimental research into the health and well being benefits of group singing. This paper describes the system and presents a number of methodologies and applications which are discussed in relation to three ongoing research projects. Preliminary work indicates that the VIIVA system and the devised setups provide a promising tool with which to study the health and well being benefits of group singing, and in particular to control for the social interactions inherent in real group singing activities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


  • virtual reality
  • singing
  • health and wellbeing
  • virtual acoustics

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