Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
HARVEY, S. M. (2000). Music Perception. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 3. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved December 9, 2023 .

Music Perception

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
. The purpose of the study is to determine if styles of music effect a person’s mood. A survey will be administered to forty individuals, men and women, targeting responses on music and mood. The survey will cover two styles of music and a person’s mood in reference to each style of music. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA will be calculated on the subjects tests scores. The expected results will be that an up-tempo style of music will create an excited mood state and a softer style of music will create a relaxed mood state.

Every time an athlete steps on the field of battle he or she is demanded to give a 110% effort. During competition the audience sees the competitive fire that is being illustrated for 9 innings or 4 quarters. What they do not see is how that athlete “gets up” for the game or event. There is a trigger that starts that competitive fire. That trigger is music. Athletes for years have turned to music to activate their nerves, either to fire them up or to calm them down. Music provides a trigger in changing a person’s mood. The performance of music, according to Peter T. Fox, director of the Research Imaging Center, creates an intense focus: “Nothing we’ve ever studied produced as much inhibition of cognitive areas as the performance of music”(Eidson, 2000). Music’s effect on an individual`s mood is not strictly limited to athletes. Have you ever turned to the car next to you and seen someone “rocking out” to a song, sing at the top of their lunges. Or have you felt a sudden rush of excitement when you hear a song that you enjoy. People become oblivious to their surroundings and lose themselves in the music. According to Alicia Ann Clair, Ph. D., MT-BC, professor of music therapy at the University of Kansas, music can have a profound effect on your emotions. “Taking advantage of that can help you beat a bad mood, maintain a good one, or simply rejuvenate and relax (Miller, 2000). Music has the ability to accelerate your mood as well as bring you down to a calming state. “Listening to music has a powerful effect on people’s moods,” says Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. In one study, listening to music reduced stress-hormone levels up to 41%(Kearns, 2000). Music itself, not the lyrics, that affects mood. To speed up your emotional level or boost energy listen to anything with accented beats and accelerated tempo. You change your mood by switching from one kind of music to another. To rejuvenate, “start with something serene and relaxing, then gradually pick up the tempo and beat”(2000). Many top dance clubs play house style music, accented beats, to keep the energy level high. Recent studies have examined the impact of music on mood state and EEG activation, specifically targeting the right frontal. Music reduces stress, anxiety levels, and even enhances performance (Field 1998). Researchers at the University of Texas @ San Antonio played a piano while a positron-emission tomograph monitored the effect that the performance had on their brain activity (Eidson 2000). They found that while subjects played the piano, large parts of the brain, not directly connected to the activity, were unresponsive. Turned down to well below resting levels. That allowed for more brain activity to be devoted towards the subject’s performance. Everyone has his or her own way of “getting up” or relaxing. But according to the Research Imaging Center at the University of Texas Health Center, the best way to turn off the world may be to play a little Bach (Eidson, 2000). The purpose of this study is to find an effect of music on people’s moods.


The participants of the music perception study consisted of forty individuals. The forty individuals consisted of twenty men and twenty women, all college students from Missouri Western State participated in the study. There was a mix of students and student-athletes. The ages of the subjects ranged from 18-25.

The materials that were used were a traditional survey of 6 questions.

A survey of 6 questions was administered to the forty individuals targeting responses on two types of music and that styles effect on that individuals mood. The goal of the study was to determine if there was in fact a correlation with music on people’s mood.

A one-way repeated measures ANOVA calculated the scores comparing six questions on music and mood. A significant effect was found (F(5,195) = 50.619, p < .001. Results had an overall significant effect on mood.

The participants in the study were briefed to what the study was attempting to find before the questionnaire was presented to them. The study attempted to find whether a style of music had an effect on an individual’s mood. Subjects tended to agree with the statements made in questions 1,2, and 5. Subjects tended to be indecisive with the statements made in questions 3,4, and 6. The study looked at two styles of music, but each individual may have their own perception of what style of music and mood represent. There was not a solid comparison between variables. The study could have been more specific about what the style of music constituted. Also each question needed to ask the same question on each style of music and not just one variable.

Eidson, C. (2000). In the Zone. Across the Board, 37, 72. Field, T., Martinez, A. (1998). Music shifts frontal EEG in depressed adolescents. Adolescence, 33, 109. Kearns, B. (2000). Natural no-fail mood boosters. Good Housekeeping, 230,152. Miller, L. (2000). Lift your spirits with music. Woman’s Day, 63, 13.

1. When I am depressed I listen to music with an up-tempo beat.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree2. Music with an up-tempo beat puts me in a pleasant mood.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree3. When I am feeling sluggish I prefer to listen to music with an up-tempo beat.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree4. When I try to relax I would rather listen to slow tempo music.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree5. Slow tempo music helps calm me down when I am overly excited.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree6. Slow tempo music helps calm me down when I am upset.Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree

Submitted 11/30/00 12:49:45 PM
Last Edited 11/30/00 12:54:16 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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