Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Music Moves: Why Does Music Make You Move?

University of Oslo via FutureLearn


Learn about why and how music makes you move.

Music is movement—a bold statement that we will explore together in this free online course.

Together we will study music through different types of body motion. This includes everything from sound-producing keyboard actions to energetic dance moves.

You will learn about the theoretical foundations of embodied music cognition and why the body is crucial for how we experience the emotional moods in music. We will also explore different research methods, including advanced motion capture systems and sound analysis methods.

You will be guided by a group of music researchers from the University of Oslo, with musical examples from four professional musicians. The course is rich in high-quality text, images, video, audio and interactive elements.

Join us to learn more about terms such as entrainment and musical metaphors and why it is challenging to sit still when you experience a good groove.

This course is open to everyone. No technical knowledge of music or dance is required.

No specific tools necessary.


  • Introduction & History
    • Welcome to Music Moves
    • Historical Overview
    • Music-Related Body Movement
    • Introduction to Research Methods
    • A wrap-up of Week 1
  • Perception & Performers
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Perception & Cognition
    • Sound-Producing Actions
    • Sound and Movement Analysis
    • A wrap-up of Week 2
  • Multimodality & Mocap
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • Multimodality
    • More music-related movements
    • Motion Capture
    • A wrap-up of Week 3
  • Pulse & Perceivers
    • Welcome to Week 4
    • Pulse and Entrainment
    • Perceivers
    • Mobile Motion Capture
    • Peer review
    • A wrap-up of Week 4
  • Groove & Gestures
    • Welcome to Week 5
    • Groove
    • Gestures and Coarticulation
    • Video Analysis
    • A wrap-up of Week 5
  • Emotion & Motion
    • Welcome to Week 6
    • Bodily Metaphors
    • Biosensors and NIME
    • A wrap-up of Week 6

Taught by

Hans T. Zeiner-Henriksen, Kristian Nymoen and Alexander Refsum Jensenius


5.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 37 ratings

Start your review of Music Moves: Why Does Music Make You Move?

  • Anonymous
    The course is about topics related to movement and its relation to music. From gentle movement of the audience of a classical concert, to dance music. From the physics of music and movement, to psychology, and how they are related metaphorically in a manner that if I remember correctly comes from birth, or at least very young age. From how movement is measured, and how it is noted, to what happens in the brain. I took this course quiet a long time ago, but I really enjoyed it.
  • Profile image for Martyn Dunne
    Martyn Dunne
    Found this course thought provoking and inspiring. The quality of the communication between students and the feedback from the course leaders was very good.
  • Aimen

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.