Music is often studied in terms of its artistic value and expressiveness. While these are important characteristics, there are other observations we can make of scientific value, such as the effects of music on the human anatomy. At present, however, there is a general lack of scientific studies focusing on the effect music makes on specific physiological responses in the body. A limited range of these studies has included examinations of music preferences and correlating personality characteristics of participants, while some others have investigated the effects of music lessons on intelligence. While the previously mentioned research has contributed to some scientific understanding with regard to human physiology, it has not addressed how specific physiological processes of the human body responds to music. Through my own research, I hope to add to the body of musical research and health sciences, and help to close the gap between these two fields. In this study, one selection from a pool of five audio examples of different musical genres will be played to participants while their heart rate is monitored with a wrist-worn device in order to gauge possible differences in heart rate that might occur as they experience music. This assessment will also be paired with a self-perceived mood questionnaire by my participants in order to identify any correlations between the two. After my data collection is complete, I will statistically analyze the information and examine any parallels between the musical selections, genre, heart rate, and self-perceived mood. By analyzing this data, I hope to gain insight into possible human physiological responses as the subjects are exposed to different musical examples from various genres. I also hope to investigate the psychological realm of music, and determine its practical use in the medical field with regard to music therapy, which can lead to various treatments in post-traumatic stress disorder, and communicative diseases.


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Thesis Completion





Gennaro, R. Joe


Bachelor of Music (B.M.)


College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Music Performance


Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis