• We consider emotions to be short term and high in
intensity, as compared to mood which we consider to be
long term and lower in intensity (Lamont & Eerola 2011).
• In 2008 Delsing showed through a study that those who
preferred intense music with a fast beat (high arousal
music) had lower moral though and high openness to
experience, this was characterized by dance music in this
• In 2011 Gardikiotis showed that those who like classical
and jazz music (low arousal music) tended to have more
conservative values, this was characterized by classical
music in this study.
• Through this study we were trying to find how different
types of music may affect behavior through emotion.
• If types of music have a direct affect on how we feel we
believe it can also affect how we behave.
• Participants were BYU-Idaho Students, Caucasians 18-25.
• We had 57 participants.
• We had three groups, the control group (n=17), classical
music group (n=18), and the dance music group (n=22).
• Participants worked on simple addition and subtraction
problems for 15 minutes.
• The dance group listened to dance music and the classical
group listened to classical music while doing the math
• The Control group listened to no music.
• After the 15 minutes of math problems the participants
completed the PANAS-X questionnaire, which measures
positive and negative emotions.
• Dance music was defined by taking instrumental versions
of songs that were in the top 30 in the “dance/party” genre
on each of two websites: dancetop40.com and
• Classical music was defined as songs from well-known
composers from the years 1750-1830 AD, such as
Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.
• Participants were separated into classrooms and the music
for the two groups was played over the speakers in the
The Effect of Classical and Dance Music on Emotion
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Delsing, M. (2008), Adolescents’ music preferences and personality characteristics.
European Journal of Personality, 22(2), 109-130.
Gardikiotis, A; Baltiz, A. (2011), ‘Rock music for myself and justice to the world!:
Musical identity, values and musical preferences. Psychology of Music, 2012, 40, 143.
Lamont,A. and Eerola, T. (2011) Music and emotion: Themes and development
Musicae Scientiae, July 2011 vol. 15 no. 2 139-145;
Watson, D; Clark, L.A (1994). The PANAS-X: Manual for the Positive and Negative Affect
Schedule- Expanded Form. University of Iowa
• I hypothesized that those who listened to dance music would have
more negative emotions and less positive emotions than the other
• I hypothesized that those in the classical group would have more
positive emotions and less negative emotions than the dance group.
We used a one-way ANOVA to test difference between the groups.
There was statistical significance between the groups on NA (Negative
Emotions), F= 4.523, p= .015 (p < .05).
There was no statistical significance between the groups on PA (Positive
Emotions), p=.517 (p>.05).
We used a Post Hoc test to compare the differences between the
There was statistical significance between the dance and the control
groups. M=4.30, p=.004 (p < .05), SD=1.44. The control group had on
average a 4.30 higher rating of negative emotions, than the dance
There was no statistical significance between the control and classical
groups, p=.076 (p>.05).
There was no statistical significance between the classical and dance
groups, p=.267 (p>.05).
• The opposite of my hypothesis about negative emotions was proven.
Instead of having more negative emotions as I expected, the dance
group had less negative emotions than the control group, and
although not statistically significant, a little less than the classical. I
conclude that dance music reduces negative emotions.
• Although not statistically significant the participants did
report less negative emotions in the classical music group
than in the control group. There appeared to be very little
difference between the negative emotions of the two groups
that did listen to music.
• Although we did not find a statistically significant difference
between the groups on positive emotions, there were slightly
more positive emotions indicated for both the music groups
than the control group.
• Dance music reduced negative emotions, showing that dance
music could actually cause people to feel better when
listening to it, compared to not listening to anything.
• Overall music listening may reduce negative emotions, and
increase positive emotions, although more testing would
need to be conducted.
• Possibly with more participants we would see a greater
difference between the groups.
• It was difficult to define the music genres.
• The setting in which the participants listened to music was
• We played music at the same volume and without lyrics.
• Many times Dance music is listened to at a louder
volume, which may have influence emotion.
• Further Research:
• Effects of other genres of music such as Hard Rock &
• Effects of lyrics on emotions (we excluded lyrics).
• Effects of music volume on emotions.
• Effects of music tempo and beat on emotions.
• My hypothesis was that there would be a difference in
emotions between the groups.
Thank you to Devin Marrott, Kelly Sutton, Taylor Ririe, Ben
Duncan, Devin Malone, Kevin Murphy, Nikole Alyes for helping
conducting the study. And thank you to Brother Gee for all his
help and direction!