27 Apr 2022


The effectiveness of music background on the brain of adults

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1446

Pages: 5

Downloads: 0

Whether its country, rock or jazz, many older adults like to listen to some music. There are many benefits of music not just to the elderly but most individuals in the society. Music soothes the mind, energizes a person and helps a person stay calm (Mohammadzadeh, 2016). Music also makes us happy or helps us remember certain events in life. Perhaps it is due to such reasons that the elderly like to listen to music. Music has also been used in therapy as a stress reliever. Due to the effects of music on a person’s behavior and psychology, many adults and youth have in on time of their lives used music as a form of therapy. To those who have been affected by stress very severely music has always offered some relief.

Apparently, little research has been done on the effectiveness of music on the cognitive function of adults. Nonetheless, there have been studies on the effects of music on old peoples’ brains about brain processing and memory. Recent studies, for instance, explored the effects of music on two kinds of memory which were the semantic and episodic as well as brain processing. The studies entailed Background music and brain function of both young adults and older adults.

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Background music refers to any type of music that a person listens to while performing another task. Patently, the research carried out on background music on cognitive ability entailed the effect of background music while someone is performing a cognitive task. The results showed different results and are referred to as the Mozart effect. The Mozart effect refers to the changes in cognitive abilities due to listening to music (Bottiroli et al., 2014). There are different kinds of music which have different characteristics hence different effects on the brain activity. The Mozart effect explains such differences in cognitive abilities about music types. Nevertheless, there still exists a consensus on common brain mechanisms about music.

While some studies focus on episodic memory, IQ, processing speed, arithmetic’s, second language learning and reading. Most of the results show a positive effect of background music on all of the mentioned. Nonetheless, since music genres are different, some studies also indicate a negative result on music and cognition.

The results of the study revealed that music had some profound effects on the cognitive functioning of older people (Schellenberg, 2007). The processing speed was fast, episodic memory performance was significantly high to those who listen to music, and semantic memory was also better regardless of the type of music one listened to. Since mood is also affected by music, the research also tested the moods of adults after exposure to music background. Depending on the type of music, the results found out that most participants tend to be happy when listening to either kind of music. Consequently, music background has some effect on mood and cognitive function of the brain. The effect of music on the mood of a person does not only depend on the type of music but also the enjoyment of the person to the particular kind of music. This is the case of people listening to their favorite genre and those listening to music they consider as not their favorite. Though music, In general, can have certain positive or negative effects, people’s preferences may also affect their cognitive ability in a positive or negative way.

Mood and memory go hand in hand when it comes to brain functioning. Mood influences a person's memory hence directly affecting a person's cognitive abilities. Apparently, when a person is happy they tend to be alert thus their brain processing is fast (Klemm, 2015). A sad person may tend to be inattentive and have a slow brain functioning. The same applies to being distracted. A distracted person is likely to have a slow brain functioning and a slow memory. This consequently applies to the type of music that an older adult is exposed to. The type of music that a person listens to will have a certain specific impact on a person’s mood and even attitude, hence directly affecting brain functioning. Evidently, there are several types of music genres that people prefer to listen to in the modern world. While some people prefer rock music, others prefer country or jazz. Older adults have their preference on the kinds of music they listen to. These music types have different characteristics. Jazz can be smooth and soothing while some rock can be loud and distractive. These types of music will also be described using their tempo or mode which also has different effects on a person's mood and brain activity.

Thompson Et al study the effects of music on mood and arousal. Consequently, mood and arousal are in connection with cognitive ability. All these have a positive influence on a person's behavior in general. Arousal is the degree of the activation of psychological processes while mood refers to the effects on emotions (Thompson et al., 2005). All these will influence a person’s enjoyment of music which in turn will affect the cognitive abilities. Since music genres are different, Arousal is often affected by the tempo and mode of music. The tempo of music can either be slow or fast. The mode of music is either significant or minor. A fast tempo music with a primary mode will induce high arousal effects since they make a person happy and active. A slow tempo with a minus mode will have negative effects on the cognitive ability since it also has negative effects on the mood of the listener. Slow music may sometimes make a person sad.

Moreover, the difference of these types of music sometimes depends on a person’s cognitive ability. On the contrary, music can also be destructive and deter cognitive ability. Background music can have unpleasant effects which will be a form of interference. Studies also indicate that some learning such as reading, arithmetic, and second language learning. These studies show how music as disturbance not only to the elderly but young adults as well. Baddeley explains that some cognitive tasks require limited resources for cognitive functioning to be at its best. For that reason, Music can be a form of disruption in a situation where there is a lot of resources for improved cognitive ability (Baddeley, 2003). Consequently, background music and cognitive ability may sometimes depend on the complexity of the task at hand. A complex task will require less disruption from music. Hence Background music will have detrimental effects on the person’s cognitive ability. A task which is not complicated on the other hand might benefit for background music.

Evidently, background music and cognitive ability may result in many studies which will have conflicting results. The studies may also have differing theoretical approaches on a different basis. The studies may provide a unified account of effects of music on cognitive ability or may not provide a unified account. Nonetheless, all this will depend on the complexities of the tasks involved and consideration of the researchers. Even so, without complexities, the effects of background music on the elderly may have beneficial results that people can depend on.

An interesting fact of the study entails the psychology of the group in question. Normal, Aging has some intense effects on the cognitive ability of an individual. As a person ages, they are likely to have some forms of memory loss. The memory loss entails an inability to remember simple tasks or simple things in one’s daily life. A person will also have difficulties remembering trivial tasks. Subsequently, performing the task under divided attention also becomes a problem to the older adults. Background music is one of the things that might cause divided attention in an adult. For that reason, this might validate the negative effects of music as a disruption to the elderly. Modern studies should, therefore, put emphasis on the normal human aging about cognitive ability.

This study explores the impact of music basing on several reasons. The most obvious reason is that music has different effects to listeners whether it’s an elderly adult or a young adult. Evidently, there are controversial effects of background music both which are beneficial and non-beneficial to cognitive ability. Another reason is that processing in one’s mind concerning background music depends on tempo and the mode of background music the listener is exposed to. Thus the differences in the results when different music genres are used are due to the difference in tempo and mode. Mode and tempo would also explain the differences in both negative and positive results associated with background music.

The most apparent reason for the study is that processing and memory are cognitive abilities which decline due to aging. Psychologically these declines in cognitive ability are a regular part of human aging. It is, therefore, an issue of interest to study the effects of background music on older adults about performing cognitive tasks putting into consideration the effects of aging on memory and mental processing.


Bottiroli, S., Rosi, A., Russo, R., & Cavallini, E. (2014). The Cognitive Effects Of Listening To Background Music On Older Adults. Front Aging Neurosci, 6 , 284. Doi:10.3389/Fnagi.2014.00284

Thompson, F, Hussein G, & Schellenberg G,.( 2001) Arousal Mood And The Mozart Effect. Psychol.Sci, 12, 248-251. Doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00345

Baddeley A.( 2003). Working Memory Looking Back And Looking Forward. Nat. Rev. Neurosci.4, 829-839. Doi:10.1038/Nrm1201

Klemm, W. (2015). Music Effects On Cognitive Function Of The Elderly. Retrieved From Http://Www.Psychologytoday.Com

Schellenberg, E., Nakata, T., Hunter, P., & Tamoto, S. (January 01, 2007). Exposure to music and cognitive performance: tests of children and adults. Psychology of Music, 35, 1, 5-19.

Mohammadzadeh, Ali; Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Matloubi, Sona; Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, & Jafari, Zahra; Department of Basic Sciences, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences. (2016). The Effects of Music Presence on Auditory Verbal Working Memory . International Journal of Speech & Language Pathology and Audiology.

Proverbio, A. M., Lozano, N. V., Alessandra, A. L., De, B. F., Guardamagna, M., Gazzola, M., & Zani, A. (January 01, 2015). The effect of background music on episodic memory and autonomic responses: listening to emotionally touching music enhances facial memory capacity. Scientific Reports, 5.

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). The effectiveness of music background on the brain of adults.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023

‘'Black Man Feeling to Party'' by Black Stalin

The music to be analyzed is ‘'Black Man Feeling to Party'' by Black Stalin. Regarding the social setting of the music, the performance is carried out in an open setting where the performer and his crew are on the...

Words: 355

Pages: 1

Views: 113

17 Sep 2023

View on Music: Bernstein vs. Plato

Music is all about beats and lyrics bring about a sensational feeling. The message being conveyed by a musician during events and concerts should match the tone or type of event at the moment. Musicians try to major...

Words: 286

Pages: 1

Views: 44

17 Sep 2023

Wilhelm Richard Wagner's Life and Music

Introduction Music is a piece of art, and its medium is mainly silence or sound. Music's main elements are made up of the pitch, dynamics, rhythm, texture and timbre. In performing music, it can be done using a...

Words: 2281

Pages: 8

Views: 234

17 Sep 2023

The Role of Music in Peoples’ Life

Music plays a fundamental role in reshaping the thinking and the mindset of humanity. Music has always been perceived since the dawn of time to motivate, educate, inform, and relieve stress and all sorts of anxiety...

Words: 584

Pages: 2

Views: 420

17 Sep 2023

The Relationship Between Language and Music Understanding

I firmly agree that language is never direct or preferably black and white, and Christy says that it comprises several dialects. In most cases, the idiom is used to create a universal language. Some words are shared...

Words: 281

Pages: 1

Views: 158

17 Sep 2023

The Evolution of Military Music Bands

Military music forms a key component in the history of instrumental music worldwide. In the United States, this history goes centuries back way long before the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the 4 th...

Words: 1371

Pages: 5

Views: 73


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.