Can the Right Music Make You Feel More Powerful?

Do you ever get a sense of feeling “pumped” when you hear certain kinds of music? A series of experiments suggests that some music can indeed give listeners a sense of power, as indicated in power-related cognitions and behavior.

4 Reasons We Listen to Sad Music, When We're Sad

“When all hope is gone, sad songs say so much.” It turns out that Elton John knew what he was talking about. People seek out sad music when they feel blue, and sometimes the music is part of the process of coming to feel better.

Flow States Among Pianists

A flow state is a special experience. What are the connections between flow states, musical practice, and levels of achievement?

More to Music Performance than Meets the Eye?

Recent experiments indicate that seem that both amateurs and experts depend primarily on visual information when judging musical performance.

Music Listening and Overall Happiness Among Adolescents

For many people listening to music is a pleasurable activity. But can listening to music contribute to the overall happiness and well-being? Research with Canadian adolescents suggests that one's reason for listening have a lot to do with the answer.

Music, Fame, and Sexual Selection

Famous musicians seem to have no trouble attracting women. But does an interest in music give any advantage to guys who rock out in garages and basements rather than stadiums? An elegantly simply experiment done in France suggests that it does.

Can Listening to the Blues Give You the Blues?

Some people report feeling strongly influenced by the music they hear Other listeners enjoy music just as much but do not seem to be so susceptible to the emotions it expresses. A recent study by researchers in Finland sheds some light on these differences. Sad music really does seem to make listeners sad - at least some of them.

Music, Movement and Emotion

A group of researchers at Dartmouth have found a new way to explore the relationship between music, emotion and movement.

Making Music Together

Children from ages two to four have difficulty synchronizing their movements to a regular beat. Would this change if the movement-to-music activity was presented in a social context?

Cross-Cultural Research and the Nature of Music

Does the language you grew up speaking, and the music you grew up hearing, affect the way you hear music as an adult? Do they make a difference in your ability to learn and enjoy unfamiliar music?

The Beat Goes On – But How?

A recent pilot study indicates that beat induction - the ability to detect a regular pulse in music - may be present in newborn infants.

Music and Exercise: What Current Research Tells Us

Is the preference for exercising to music rooted in some real effect that music might have? This question is harder to answer than you might think.

Music, Detachment and the Loss of Self

Music has the ability to take us out of ourselves. A recent study by Ruth Herbert at the U.K.’s Open University (Herbert, 2011) is one of the few to examine the psychological characteristics of normative dissociation facilitated by music in “real world” settings.

Music and Moral Judgement

Thinkers as different from one another as Confucius, Socrates, St. Augustine and al’Ghazzali have cautioned against the effects of music on the soul. Now researchers in Israel have found evidence that these moralists may have been on to something.

Musical Skill and Deliberate Practice

What sets those who are able to master a musical instrument even though they seem to spend little time practicing apart from those who spend a lot of time practicing and never achieve mastery?

Background Music and Cognition

Two scientists at the University of Auckland set out to investigate whether the brains of musicians process music in the same brain areas where language is processed. Along the way they also found some interesting results about the effects of background music on thought.

Where Do “Earworms” Come From?

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head and, no matter how hard you tried, you could not dislodge it? Variously called "earworms," "sticky songs" or "involuntary musical imagery," one study found that nearly 92% of people report having such an experience once a week or more frequently.

Music and Pain Relief

Long-term studies of music therapy in pain management have shown it to be associated with improved quality of life and reduced consumption of pain relievers.

The Bodily Origins of Song Structure

If songs across the globe and from a variety of cultures tend to have certain things in common, why might this be so? Recently a group of researchers has put forth an intriguing hypothesis about the origins of song structure, and they have come up with an ingenious way to test it.

Music and the Ties that Bind

A friend of mine used to say, only half joking, that he judged new people he met according to whether or not they appreciated the music of Nina Simone. It turns out that he may have been on to something.

Does Playing the Blues Give You the Blues?

What role do a musician’s own emotions play in the construction of an expressive performance?

Musical Thrills and Chills

People who are strongly affected by music sometimes claim that it gives them chills down their spine and makes their hair stand on end. (The technical term is “piloerection”.) When we are effected in this way by music, art, or by the grandeur of nature, what exactly is going on? Can some kind of evolutionary explanation help us make sense of the experience?

Can You Be Too Passionate About Music?

Becoming a professional musician requires an incredible amount of work, and having a passion for music can help motivate the many required hours of practice. But can a passion for music also be destructive?