Problems With Music In Research

There are many reasons why using music in research is problematic. From
inconsistencies in peoples connotations of the spoken language, to simple familiarity
from portion of the population and not from others, there are many things that can make
music in research very difficult.
One reason for difficulty is that the measurement of peoples perception of music
goes far beyond what can be described verbally. Feeling evoked by the music although
described by the same words i.e. this music makes me feel happy, sad ,etc. is inconsistent
from one person to the next. Also, there is no way to measure many of the reactions that
the person may have. Even if the person tells you what feelings the music evokes, there
is no way of knowing what other thoughts the person might be having, nor how these
reactions will affect that person.
Another factor of difficulty in research with music if familiarity to the music. If
you were to play a piece of music from the classical era to someone who primarily listens
to popular music and is not familiar with any sort of classical music, you will get a very
different reaction than you would if you played that music to someone who is a classically
trained musician. Even if it evokes the same emotions, there might be a difference in
anxiety levels that can be measured by things such as heart rate.
A third factor to take into consideration is the fact that often times we connect
music with experiences that change the feelings experienced whenever the music is heard.
An example of how this makes research difficult is that if someone heard the music on a
first date with the person they love, it will have very different feeling tied to it than it
would if the heard it when a loved one died, or something negative occurred when they
first heard it.

Category: Music and Movies