Music genre preference and tempo alter alpha and beta waves in human non-musicians

Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia

This study examined the effects of music genre and tempo on brain activation patterns in 10 nonmusicians.
Two genres (rock and jazz) and three tempos (slowed, medium/normal, and
quickened) were examined using EEG recording and analyzed through Fast Fourier Transform
(FFT) analysis. When participants listened to their preferred genre, an increase in alpha wave
amplitude was observed. Alpha waves were not significantly affected by tempo. Beta wave
amplitude increased significantly as the tempo increased. Genre had no effect on beta waves. The
findings of this study indicate that genre preference and artificially modified tempo do affect
alpha and beta wave activation in non-musicians listening to preselected songs.

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