Reading Soundtracks

This is interesting: Do Soundtracks Increase Reading Comprehension?

Booktrack Classroom is a program that purports to use music to raise reading comprehension and satisfaction. I was skeptical when I saw the headline because music, particularly lyric-based, competes with the written text for cognitive resources (unless it is, say, blocking out something that would be even more distracting).

But that’s not really where they are coming from. Instead, this program uses complimentary music–in other words, music and sound effects that are appropriate for the part of the story that the reader is experiencing. Since it is based around electronic texts, the music or sound effects can remain in sync with the “page” that the reader is on.

That’s fascinating, and it makes sense that since the sound is adding context in an interesting way, I can see how it would increase comprehension and satisfaction in the same way that effective use of visuals in a presentation provides complimentary information that best makes use of how our brains take in information.

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