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Music, in this sense, actually refers to the audio perception from your favorite songs, remixes, or renditions. It can affect the brain significantly, and vicariously through that may influence the body. Euphoria or de-stressing to tunes should be evidence of this.

Our evidence-based analysis on music features 13 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Music

Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts

Music is best defined as an abstract stimulus that we perceive with our ears, and then form patterns with our minds that results in a completely unique experience.

Evidence-based information on what works

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Things To Know & Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As


Music can induce any feeling of stimulation, anxiolytic, or calming effects. This effect is dependent on the music itself and one's own preferences.

How to Take Music

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Loud and to your liking, but not enough to destroy your ear drums.

Research Breakdown on Music

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Music has the ability to release dopamine. The effect of this seems to be via a calmodulin-dependent system.[1] 

Dopamine release from the nucleus accumbens occurs during peak emotional arousal (the best part) and from caudate (another brain organ) during periods of anticipation for the peak emotional arousal.[2]

Via a calcium/calmodulin-dependent dopamine-synthesizing system, dopamine can potentially reduce blood pressure.[3] Via this mechanism, music has been shown to reduce blood pressure (albeit in lab animals) and has more potency at higher frequencies (albeit still being calming music).[4] This effect may be only applicable to those with higher blood pressure in the first place (and hopefully not only rats).[5]

Music has been found reduce the intensity of pain experienced.[6][7][8]

Music administered during exercise has the ability to increase time to exhaustion during aerobic exercise while reducing blood pressure and heart rate, hypothesized to be via relaxation mechanisms.[9] Differences in adrenaline between the two groups were noted. These changes in adrenaline stop upon cessation of music, are dependent on the tempo of the music, and do not seem to be causative of the changes in performance during exercise to a significant degree.[10]

Listening to motivational music (music that encourages motion and activity) encourages enhanced blood lactate clearance possibly via unintentional additional movement.[11]</di|authors=Eliakim M, Bodner E, Eliakim A, Nemet D, Meckel Y|journal=J Strength Cond Res]

Music appears to have the potential to augment already addictive behaviors via association. This result can be either positive or detrimental depending on context.[12][13]


  1. ^ Sutoo D, Akiyama K. Music improves dopaminergic neurotransmission: demonstration based on the effect of music on blood pressure regulation. Brain Res. (2004)
  2. ^ Salimpoor VN, et al. Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nat Neurosci. (2011)
  3. ^ Sutoo D, Akiyama K. Regulation of blood pressure with calcium-dependent dopamine synthesizing system in the brain and its related phenomena. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. (1997)
  4. ^ Akiyama K, Sutoo D. Effect of different frequencies of music on blood pressure regulation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Neurosci Lett. (2011)
  5. ^ Lemmer B. Effects of music composed by Mozart and Ligeti on blood pressure and heart rate circadian rhythms in normotensive and hypertensive rats. Chronobiol Int. (2008)
  6. ^ Nilsson S, et al. School-aged children's experiences of postoperative music medicine on pain, distress, and anxiety. Paediatr Anaesth. (2009)
  7. ^ Bradshaw DH, et al. Individual differences in the effects of music engagement on responses to painful stimulation. J Pain. (2011)
  8. ^ Cepeda MS, et al. Music for pain relief. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2006)
  9. ^ Szmedra L, Bacharach DW. Effect of music on perceived exertion, plasma lactate, norepinephrine and cardiovascular hemodynamics during treadmill running. Int J Sports Med. (1998)
  10. ^ Yamamoto T, et al. Effects of pre-exercise listening to slow and fast rhythm music on supramaximal cycle performance and selected metabolic variables. Arch Physiol Biochem. (2003)
  11. ^ Effect of Motivational Music on Lactate Levels during Recovery from Intense Exercise.
  12. ^ Polston JE, et al. Music and methamphetamine: conditioned cue-induced increases in locomotor activity and dopamine release in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2011)
  13. ^ Feduccia AA, Duvauchelle CL. Auditory stimuli enhance MDMA-conditioned reward and MDMA-induced nucleus accumbens dopamine, serotonin and locomotor responses. Brain Res Bull. (2008)