It has been said over and over again that music is powerful and is one of the rare media that can bypass the mind and reach the soul. How that happens is still a mystery to many people. Music is amazing in many ways and is a subject of research the world over.

It has been found to have profound effects on health and is now being embraced as a method of treatment through music therapy. Patients who were previously not talking after so many methods were used on them suddenly spoke or responded when some music that they identified with was played for them.


Another area of interest has been to identify what ways music influences behavior. Behavior, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a) the manner of conducting oneself; b) anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulation; c) the response of an individual, group or species to its environment.

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Basically, in this context, music is considered to be a source of stimulation and we therefore aim to find out how it affects people’s behavior. The following post gives light on this topic:

Researchers have pondered the possible therapeutic and mood boosting benefits of music for centuries.

Even sad music brings most listeners pleasure and comfort, according to recent research from Durham University in the United Kingdom and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, published in PLOS ONE.

Conversely, the study found that for some people, sad music can cause negative feelings of profound grief. Via Healthline

Music and Moods

Music can both lighten and dampen people’s moods, and as the post above describes, there seems to be no particular effect of a certain type of song on behavior. You would imagine that a happy song would comfort and bring pleasure rather than a sad song, as the post describes.

The speculation could be toward the disposition of a person, meaning that the effects of music can be as vast as there are people and their specific situation at the moment they hear the song.

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With such ambiguity in sight, there are some general effects of music that have been found to be used especially during events.

Unsurprisingly, fast paced music makes people move faster, and so does loud music. Slow music generally makes people slow down. It might be basic, but it’s an important factor in creating a specific mood for an event. Do you want people to be energised and buzzing, or relaxed and laid-back? Via Eventbrite

When planning for an event, for instance, the kind of music to use should be well thought out as it has the potential of making your event successful or underwhelming. It is one aspect that should not be ignored.

The impact of background music, be it in a shop or at a conference, might be a small one if we just look at the behaviour of one individual. However, all of these small changes add up.

Exhibitors might see an increase in sales or sales leads at your exhibition from having better conversations and less hurried traffic, delegates might listen to your speakers more attentively, and singles could rate the people they met at your event more highly. Via Eventbrite

Mood and Behavior

Behind every behavior, there is an underlying mood and once this is affected, then the behavior is automatically influenced. This has been used by marketers in various ways to increase sales by using certain types of music.

Classical music might be thought of as sophisticated and classy, while Jazz might be thought of as artistic and refined. When putting these general assumptions to the test, several experiments show that playing specific music can impact perceptions too.

For example classical music can temporarily increase the perceived value of an item. In these situations people projected some of the associations they had with classical music, e.g. sophistication, onto the item itself. Via Eventbrite

This explains why most advertisements have some background music or even a theme song that is attached to the product. It is the song that will stay with the consumer and influence their decision to purchase the product.

Teens sharing earphones, listening music outdoor. Summer time.
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Who are the Listeners?

The characteristics of the listeners of music will determine the effect it has on them. For instance, young people will enjoy loud blasting music while the older generation may find it disturbing and annoying.

In order to use music successfully, you will need to take many things into consideration. If you do so, you will probably be one of the people being interviewed when the next research on music and behavior is being carried out.

Ultimately, regardless of what you do, you need to think about the demographic you are targeting. Make sure the music you choose is congruent with both your target group and your brand. Via Eventbrite

The findings of music and behavior can be applied in so many areas of life, whether for business, official purposes, parties, sports, marketing and for personal use (like when you need to unwind and relax). Dig into all these possibilities and see the magical effects of music in action!

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music-n-behaviorIt’s easy to get caught up in making the case for the fringe benefits of making and teaching music.

Take for example the popular but occasionally-debunked Mozart effect that claims classical music will improve everything from memory to math skills. These kinds of fringe benefits are held up and debated particularly in times when music education funding is at stake, but at the end of the day, perhaps the best case for music is that it should be made for its own sake.

However, that isn’t to say that the benefits of music in the classroom end at translating the mnemonic “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” to notes on a page. Via BSO Music

Making Music Improves Behavior in Children

music-n-behavior-2A study led by Canadian psychologist E. Glenn Schellenberg of the University of Toronto-Mississauga confirmed that making music improves behavior in children. The study included 84 third and fourth graders from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds who were enrolled in public school. Half of the participants took a weekly 40-minute group ukulele class that included singing, playing, improvisation, ear training, and sight reading. During the class children were encouraged to interact. Via Making Music

Let the music play: How background music affects shopping behavior

music-n-behavior-3Numerous studies have shown how playing different background music influences shopping experience. The challenge is selecting the most suitable type for the business and customer base. Believe it or not, music can even push customers toward particular sale items.

The sound of dread and wonder is what sets the true mood for a thriller movie, as we have seen in Steven Spielberg’s visually dynamic “Jaws,” which would probably not evoke the same killer effect without John William’s musical score. People may notice themselves driving or running faster while listening to strongly energized music, merely out of habit or unconscious mimicry.
Via Daily Sabah