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The Surprising Psychology of Music

Psychology of Music helps you understand how the brain reacts to different forms of music and how it affects parts of the brain.

The Psychology of Music is a branch of psychology and musicology. It encompasses musical performance, music therapy, and human attitude toward music.

What is the Psychology of Music?

You may hear many surprising facts about psychology. However, discovering new information about music psychology is always exciting for everyone.

Music psychology educates you about non-psychological elements of musicology and musical practice. It adds a new chapter in the field of music theory through its explanation of music’s melody, harmony, tonality, rhythm, meter, and form.

Richard Parncutt, Professor of Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz, researched the reason ‌people invest so much time, energy, and money in musical activities.

His research is based on a combination of both musicology and psychology. Biopsychology, perception, cognition, creativity, motivation, and emotion are among the psychological disciplines typically consulted in studies of the psychology of music.

Professor Parncutt’s study revealed the music rituals and gatherings, skills, and processes. He also found the role of music in forming personal and group identities through everyday music listening and responding emotionally to music.

In the end, we have explained the usage of music in everyday life and the emotional response to music that can be quite helpful to you if you are a student or learning a new language/subject.

History Of Music Psychology

Prior to the 19th century, pitch and tone were mainly modeled in the study of sound and musical phenomena.

According to the studies, Pythagoras and his discovery of the simple string length ratios defined the octave consonances, notably via the quadrivium of astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, and music, which served as the foundation for all the psychology of music.

Galileo’s experiments showed that changing the tension, thickness, or composition of the string could change the perceived pitch while the string’s length was maintained constant.

He stated that simple ratios did not explain the phenomena and method of music. In addition, he studied vibration, consonance, harmonic series, and resonance. And these studies led to the scientific revolution in music psychology.

In the late 19th century, modern music psychology gave rise to the concept of the development of general empirical psychology.

Wilhelm Wundt was the leader of the first structuralist psychology, which tried to improve the experience down to its smallest definable parts. He connects the sensation of rhythm to physical tension and relaxation.

Géza Révész and Albert Wellek in Europe established a more sophisticated knowledge of musical pitch.

In the US, the focus turned to music education and the practice of improving musical ability.

This research was conducted by Carl Seashore, who also wrote “The Psychology of Musical Talent” and “The Measurement of Musical Talent.” In order to measure how well each student’s musical ability varied from the next, Seashore employed specialized equipment and standardized examinations.

In 1963, F. Chrysler used the word “science of music” the first time when he was writing an article on the “yearbook for musicals”.

European musicology is based on Greek. They were interested in philosophy and the concepts associated with music. Several Greek theories ultimately led later to Arab and Christian theories. Although their theories were witnessed, they were perverted along the road throughout Europe’s Middle Ages.

In the second half of the 20th century, music psychology developed to span a wide range of theoretical and practical fields.

Until the 60s, psychologists studied only Music perception which involved pitch, rhythm, harmony, and melody. Moreover, they studied musical growth and aptitude, music performance, and affective reactions to music.

Music perception (especially of pitch, rhythm, harmony, and melody), musical growth and aptitude, music performance, and affective reactions to music have all been studied since the 1960s as cognitive science.

This period also saw the establishment of music psychology-specific publications, associations, conferences, research groups, centers, and degrees, a trend that has focused study on specialized applications for music education, performance, and treatment.

Cognitive psychology allows you to analyze musical behavior and experience. Whereas neuroscience theory changed the course of the psychology of music from sound to significance in the 21st century.

How Do Different Types of Music Psychologically Affect Us?

Different types of music have their own pitch. When you listen to music, it enters your brain and develops different feelings of emotions. Here are some of the music types with their psychological effects on your brain.

  • Psychological Effects of Loud Music

Although exposure to loud music might harm our hearing, a study conducted among 18 to 25-year-olds reveals that loud noises have positive effects on our health. According to the study, there are four key reasons why humans prefer loud sounds.

  1. Enjoyment
  2. Socialization facilitation
  3. Cancel both external sounds and unpleasant thoughts.
  4. Personal identity enhancement

Loud music helps to control humans’ emotional states. It also eliminates undesired feelings. Using loud music has a good impact on business, besides creating a risky working environment.

According to the study, bar managers may use music to maintain and attract customers as well as manage the crowd and reduce tension.

  • Psychological Effects of Rap Music

Many rap and hip-hop tracks tell the story of someone who is fighting the odds or overcoming challenges.

According to Cambridge University researchers, these upwardly mobile stories might be a helpful device for people suffering from depression or other mental health difficulties.

These positive visual ideas can help people visualize where they want to be mentally and encourage development toward that goal.

  • Psychological Effects of Rock Music

Your listening habits will undoubtedly have a big influence on you, especially in terms of your mood, creativity, and socializing ideas.

Listeners to this style of music might also take pleasure in these effects. Rock music will have good effects on the brain of a passionate fan, just like any other genre.

  • Psychological Effects of Jazz Music

The brain may match up with the rhythm of slow music at 60 beats per minute, producing alpha brain waves, which induce better sleep, promote a calm mind, and improve your memory, mood, and verbal abilities.

We frequently experience these waves when we are alert but calm. Smooth jazz may relax when paired with other sounds of nature, such as thunder, waterfalls, rain sounds, etc.

  • Psychological Effects of Classical Music

It has health benefits besides being lovely background noise. The emphasis on listening to classical music’s harmonies and rhythms may have a soothing impact on people, which can lower blood pressure.

Benefits of Claasical Music

Classical music has incredible psychological benefits:

  1. Makes you more emotional.
  2. Makes you smarter.
  3. Relieves anxiety.
  4. Builds social relationships.
  5. Makes you more productive.
  6. Helps you relax.
  7. Strengthening mental ability.
  • Psychological Effects of Pop Music

According to a 2009 study, listening to rock or pop songs while engaging in a tough or particularly taxing aerobic activity might increase endurance and perhaps improve physical performance.

The Psychological Effects of Listening to Music

With the latest technological devices, you can play music anywhere, anytime. You can listen to it on TV or use applications like Spotify or Pandora on your phone.

The important thing to remember is that your music selection is always based on your mood.

If you are unhappy and listen to music, it improves your mood, relieves all your stress, and makes you well again.

Listening to music brings back happy moments and generates calm feelings in the brain.

Activities like dancing, singing, or moving to music not only promote physical health but also create personal relationships and relieve pain.

To get the largest brain reaction and dopamine release, try listening to unfamiliar music instead of familiar music. Unfamiliar music might stimulate your mind more, but as you get to know it, it can also bring you great happiness.

Singing and playing an instrument are both examples of producing music. Playing an instrument can increase brain function while promoting a sense of mastery and self-worth.

Here are some incredible psychological benefits of listening to music.

10 Psychological Benefits of Music

Psychological Benefits of Music

Music may be refreshing, and some studies show that listening to music may even improve your health.

Music may provide happiness, but it also has various psychological advantages. It may help people calm their minds, energize their bodies, and even better manage their pain. Here is insightful information about the psychological benefits of music.

  • Easily Reduces Stress

According to the research, listening to music influences the human stress response, specifically the autonomic nervous system.

When we are under a lot of stress, our heart rate and blood pressure might rise. Listening to music can lower our heart rate and cortisol levels, produce endorphins, boost our sense of well-being, and reduce physical and mental stress.

  • Help To Ease Pain

Recent research has discovered that people suffering from chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, can reduce their pain by listening to music they enjoy.

Listening to music that you enjoy generates opioids in the brain, which quickly spread throughout your body. While listening to music, this natural pain reliever decreases the pain.

  • Empower Your Sleep

Insomnia is a significant condition that affects people of all ages. While there are several techniques to treat this condition, studies have shown that listening to relaxing classical music can be a healthy, successful, and cost-effective treatment.

In research involving college students, participants spent three weeks listening to either nothing, an audiobook, or classical music before bed. Researchers showed sleep quality before and after the treatment.

According to the study, participants who listened to music had considerably higher sleep quality than those who listened to an audiobook or got no intervention.

  • Increase Motivation

Moving to the beat of the music improves not only your motor coordination but also your self-confidence. Thus, listening to music while doing a task might increase your self-esteem.

Self-esteem is also strongly tied to increased self-confidence. As a result, the music changes our views.

Music provides a motivating atmosphere for all of our actions, influencing both physical and mental endurance. According to studies, listening to fast-paced music pushes people to work out harder.

  • Boost Your Mood

Researchers found that there was a strong correlation between mood and music.

According to some research, enjoying music might lead to a more significant release of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and melatonin, which are associated with pleasure. Additionally, it could reduce the body’s creation of stress-inducing hormones. Thus, music therapy can boost your mood.

The most effective types of music for elevating the mood are classical and meditational.

  • Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Studies have shown that music therapy may be a reliable and successful treatment for several diseases, including depression.

According to one piece of research, people with neurological diseases, including dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease, can benefit from using music therapy because it is risk-free and safe for them.

  • Enhance Your Memory

Is it good to listen to music while studying? Above, we discussed that classical music enhances your mood, which makes you better at studying.

Based on research, it is found that listening to classical music like Mozart improves your memory, and you can score well on the test.

  • Optimize Mental Performance

Music is a great resource to use, whether listening to or playing if you want to keep your brain active as you age. It delivers complete mental exercise.

By strengthening your creativity, impaired memory, and other skills, You are constantly more active and mentally sharper while you are listening to music.

  • Help to Increase Your Performance

Another significant psychological benefit of music is its capacity to improve performance.

According to studies, synchronizing bodily movements to music might improve performance and stamina. The perfect tempo to boost your performance during a workout is between 125 and 140 beats per minute.

Music boosts your productivity and cognitive performance. It has a musical characteristic that can cause a listener to move and activates the part of the brain that deals with movement.

  • Reduce Your Eating

One study found that eaters who chose restaurants with dim lighting and relaxing music consumed 18% less food than those who chose other restaurants.

It is one of the surprising benefits of music. Music is one of the best tools for weight loss. Dimming the lights and listening to soothing music while trying to lose weight may help you succeed.

Relation Between Psychology and Music Therapy

Our mind is directly dependent on the tone and rhythm of the music playing around us.

Many pieces of research have been conducted by psychologists to identify the various emotions that music might elicit.

But the large field of study known as expressive arts therapy includes the subfield of psychology and psychotherapy known as music therapy, which is best to calm our minds.

So, we hope you understood the concept of the Psychology of Music. If you have any queries or experiences, please with us in the comment box.


The information provided here is just for educational purposes only. Kindly consult your physician before making any medical changes.