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Effects of Music Genre on Heart Rate

5176 words (21 pages) Essay in Physiology

18/05/20 Physiology Reference this

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Research Question

What effects do different genres of music (classical, rap, pop, country, and jazz) have on one’s heart rate (bpm)?

Aim

The aim of this experiment is to determine if certain genres of music have the ability to stimulate the body by increasing one’s heart rate and to see which genre of music is the most effective at doing so.

Background Information

Heart rate is defined as the speed of the heartbeat and is measured by the number of beats (or contractions) of the heart per minute (bpm) (Merriam Webster). Heart rate is a factor that is unique to each individual and can determine one’s level of physical fitness. That being said, one’s heart rate can be affected by a various number of factors, for example, age, stress levels, physical activity, dietary habits, sleep habits, etc.. In the past, many researchers have done studies on the effects of music and athletic performance (more specifically the effects of music on the heart rates of endurance runners) and while some have found no correlation between the two, some have come to the conclusion that music does indeed raise one’s heart rate. Other studies have found that synchronizing heartbeat to upbeat, fast music can help boost athletic performance in sports where keeping pace is key (like running for example), while calm, sedative music can help one calm down and relax (Koç, Haluk; Curtseıt, Turchıan, 2009).

I choose to do my internal assessment on this topic for several reasons. Firstly, I am an avid fan of sports and watch practically every sporting event that is on TV. While watching, I notice that a plethora of athletes have headphones on, listening to music while arriving at the sports venue, or are listening to music while warming up before their game. I was always intrigued as to why they did this and so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to research into it. I myself am an athlete and I often listen to music while working out in the gym or before my games. Before a football game, my teammates and I often gather inside the locker room and listen to music to get ourselves mentally prepared and in the “flow. I’ve noticed that while listening to music I feel more “pumped-up”, energized, and more productive, so I thought that this was an opportune time to further investigate into music’s effect.

Hypothesis

If one listens to different genres of music at the same volume and for the same amounts of time, then their physiological measurement of heart rate (bpm) will increase the most while listening to rap music and decrease the most while listening to classical music. Since rap music has upbeat, fast rhythms this should result in the subject’s heart synchronizing and thus beating faster (higher bpm). On the contrary,

Variables

Dependent Variable

The dependent variable is the heart rate (bpm). The heart rate will be measured in beats-per-minute (bpm) (±1.0 bpm) and will be measured using a pulse oximeter.

Independent Variable

The independent variable in this experiment is the genre of music being played either classical, rap, pop, country, or jazz. Each genre of music will be played for 4 minutes, then the measurement of physiological activity (heart rate in bpm) will be taken.

Controlled Variables

There are various controlled variables in this experiment:

-          Ambient conditions like location, surroundings, lighting, room temperature

-          Position of the subject (must remain seated during the entirety of the experiment)

-          The amount of time each genre of music is played for (4 minutes)

-          The amount of time the subject is rested between each genre of music (5 minutes)

-          All genres of music should be played at volume of 89 decibels (80% on an iPhone)

Uncontrolled Variables

There are also various uncontrolled variables in this experiment:

-          The physical characteristics of the subject (height, weight, diet, any underlying health conditions that otherwise might skew the data

-          The stress level and fatigue of the subject

Experimental Control

-          In this experiment, to truly test the effects of the genres of music we will be using an experimental control. The experimental control is the subjects heart rate (bpm) when there is no music being played

Equipment List

-          iPhone with access to the songs “Sugarcane” (classical music) by Ana Olgica, “Going Bad” (rap music) by Meek Mill, “Shape of You” (pop music) by Ed Sheeran, “Country Girl” (country music) by Luke Bryan, and “Take Five” (jazz music) by Dave Brubeck

-          Noise-canceling headphones

-          5 test subjects (should be randomly chosen)

-          Chair

-          Table

-          Laptop or computer to record the collected data

-          Pulse oximeter (±1.0 bpm)

          Timer (± 0.01sec).

Apparatus

        Figure 1. Diagram showing the subject seated in a chair and listening to music. The headphones are on the subject’s ears and the pulse oximeter in positioned on their right index finger. The subject is sitting in a relaxed position, with their feet grounded and their arms on the table.

Method

1)     Instruct the test subject to in the chair in a relaxed position with their arms on the table and their feet grounded.

2)     Place the noise-canceling headphones on the subject’s ears and place the pulse oximeter on the index finger of their dominant hand.

3)     Begin the first phase (experimental control) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in the relaxed position for four minutes (with no music playing), use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

4)     Let the subject rest for 5 minutes before starting the next phase of the experiment.

5)     Begin the second phase (classical music – “Sugarcane” by Ana Olgica) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in a relaxed position. This time, play the song “Sugarcane” at 80% volume (89 decibels) for four minutes. Use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time.
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

6)     Let the subject rest for 5 minutes before starting the next phase of the experiment.

7)     Begin the third phase (rap music – “Going Bad” by Meek Mill) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in a relaxed position. This time, play the song “Going Bad” at 80% volume (89 decibels) for four minutes. Use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time.
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

8)     Let the subject rest for 5 minutes before starting the next phase of the experiment.

9)     Begin the fourth phase (pop music – “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in a relaxed position. This time, play the song “Shape of You” at 80% volume (89 decibels) for four minutes. Use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time.
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

10) Let the subject rest for 5 minutes before starting the next phase of the experiment.

11) Begin the fifth phase (country music – “Country Girl” by Luke Byran) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in a relaxed position. This time, play the song “Country Girl” at 80% volume (89 decibels) for four minutes. Use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time.
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

12) Let the subject rest for 5 minutes before starting the next phase of the experiment.

13) Begin the sixth phase (jazz music – “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck) of the experiment.

  1. Let the subject sit in the chair in a relaxed position. This time, play the song “Take Five” at 80% volume (89 decibels) for four minutes. Use the timer for accurate measurement of elapsed time.
  2. At the end of the four minutes observe the pulse oximeter and make note of the measurement (in bpm)

14) Repeat steps 1-13b. for the remaining four subjects.

15) Repeat steps 1-14 four additional times for each of the five subjects.

16) Analyze the recorded data to fully comprehend the results of the experiment

Data and Analysis

Raw Data

 

Table 1.  Heart rates (bpm) of the five subjects after resting, classical, rap, pop, country, and jazz music listening sessions for all five trials

Subjects

Trial

Resting

(bpm± 1.0)

Classical

(bpm± 1.0)

Rap

 (bpm± 1.0)

Pop

(bpm± 1.0)

Country (bpm± 1.0)

Jazz

 (bpm± 1.0)

Subject 1

1

63

59

75

73

61

61

 

2

63

61

74

75

59

69

 

3

64

60

78

79

60

60

 

4

64

60

76

74

62

62

 

5

66

62

78

76

64

64

Subject 2

1

66

63

69

79

59

59

 

2

63

59

67

67

61

61

 

3

68

65

75

74

66

66

 

4

67

64

70

80

60

60

 

5

69

66

70

83

62

64

Subject 3

1

55

51

61

65

59

59

 

2

53

50

63

65

51

51

 

3

65

56

69

77

60

60

 

4

56

52

62

66

60

60

 

5

58

54

64

68

54

62

Subject 4

1

67

57

71

77

55

55

 

2

69

61

73

78

61

61

 

3

74

68

77

79

70

70

 

4

68

58

72

78

56

56

 

5

70

60

74

80

58

58

Subject 5

1

63

58

70

72

59

59

 

2

65

61

73

73

62

62

 

3

64

59

71

75

58

58

 

4

64

59

71

73

60

60

 

5

68

61

73

75

62

62

 

Data Analysis

 

Mean

 To better understand the collected data various calculations were performed. First, the arithmetic mean (average) was calculated for all 6 variations (resting, classical, rap, pop, country, and jazz) of the experiment, for each of the 5 subjects. This calculation allowed for me to compare the average heart rate (bpm) of each genre and to see what kind of effects each genre had. This also enabled me to see which genre had the most impact on one’s heart rate and which one had the least.

Sample Calculation

Average of rap trials (bpm) for Subject 1: (Trial 1 + Trial 2 + Trial 3 + Trail 4 + Trial 5)/5 = (75 bpm + 74 bpm + 78 bpm + 76 bpm + 78 bpm)/5 = 76.2 bpm

Range

 The range was calculated for each music genre in the experiment to see the scope of the recorded data. Range enabled me to see the difference between the highest and the lowest bpm value in a given trial and from this I was able to conclude that the recorded data was consistent for each of the music genres, throughout all five trials.

Sample Calculation

Range of rap trials (bpm) for Subject 1: Largest bpm value – smallest bpm value =

78 bpm -74 bpm = 4 bpm difference

 

Standard Deviation

 Standard deviation calculations were performedfor all five trials of each genre of music tested in the experiment. This calculation enabled to further analyze the scope of the data collected. The standard deviation was low, meaning that the bpm levels throughout the course of the trials remained constant and fairly close to the average value. The low standard deviation value showed that there was very little variance in the collected data.

 

Sample Calculation

The standard deviation of rap trials (bpm) for Subject 1: Insert the rap bpm values for Subject 1 into Microsoft excel. Select the data and go the “Formulas” tab. Select the formula “STDEV” and press OK. The value for the standard deviation should be approximately 1.79.

Table 2.  Average heart rate (bpm), range (bpm) and standard deviation (average data dispersion) of all five test subjects

Subject

Genre of Music

Average (bpm)

Range (bpm)

Standard Deviation

Subject 1

Resting

53.54

3

1.22

 

Classical

50.52

3

1.14

 

Rap

63.80

4

1.79

 

Pop

63.22

6

2.30

 

Country

51.32

5

1.92

 

Jazz

53.26

9

3.56

Subject 2

Resting

55.88

6

2.30

 

Classical

53.28

7

2.70

 

Rap

58.99

8

2.95

 

Pop

64.88

16

6.27

 

Country

51.78

7

2.70

 

Jazz

52.15

7

2.92

Subject 3

Resting

48.60

12

4.62

 

Classical

44.23

6

2.41

 

Rap

53.69

8

3.11

 

Pop

57.68

12

5.07

 

Country

48.01

9

4.09

 

Jazz

49.38

11

4.28

Subject 4

Resting

58.45

7

2.70

 

Classical

51.39

11

4.32

 

Rap

61.55

6

2.30

 

Pop

65.52

3

1.14

 

Country

51.01

15

6.04

 

Jazz

51.01

15

6.04

Subject 5

Resting

54.32

5

1.92

 

Classical

49.89

3

1.34

 

Rap

59.89

3

1.34

 

Pop

61.56

3

1.34

 

Country

50.46

4

1.79

 

Jazz

50.46

4

1.79

 

Table 3. Total average heart rate (bpm) of all the test subjects combined, standard deviation (average data dispersion) for each music genre, and percent difference to compare average heart rate (bpm) of each music genre to average heart rate (bpm) of the resting subjects.

 

Subject

Music Genre

Total Average (bpm)

Total Range (bpm)

Standard Deviation

Percent Difference from Resting (%)

S1-S5 (all subjects)

Resting

64.48

21

4.84

0.0

 

Classical

59.36

18

4.41

-7.94

 

Rap

71.04

17

4.76

-10.17

 

Pop

74.44

18

4.99

+15.45

 

Country

59.96

19

3.77

-7.0

 

Jazz

60.76

19

4.01

-5.77

Figure 2. Total average heart rate (bpm) of all the test subjects during each of the different music genre listening sessions (shown in blue) and standard deviation (shown in orange)

 

Figure 3. Percent difference from resting for all five subjects combined for each of the music genres

Conclusion

My initial hypothesis was that if one listens to rap music, then their physiological measurement of heart rate will increase due to the fact that rap music has upbeat, fast rhythms this should result in the subject’s heart synchronizing and thus beating faster. At first glance of the gathered data, my initial hypothesis seems to valid. However, upon closer examination, the original hypothesis is actually proved to be false. After performing an analysis of variance (ANOVA), I got the value of .418, and any value over .05 means that the data is not statistically significant. Thus, even though there was variance in the data that was collected there isn’t a big enough difference for it to be considered statistically significant. Since the data isn’t statistically significant, the alternate hypothesis was proved true, meaning that both genres of music had virtually no notable effect on the heart rate of the test subjects.

Evaluation of Methods 

There were many sources of error in this experiment. Firstly, even though the volume of the iPhone was set to a constant volume of 80% the volume of the songs themselves could have been louder and quieter than desired, thus resulting in skewed data. Another source of error is that the values on the pulse oximeter could have accidentally been misread, or the equipment might not have been calibrated, both of these reasons could have caused skewed data.

 In addition to sources of error, there are also some limitations to the experiment performed. First off, it is hard generalizing the results of the experiment to the real world as classical, rap, pop, country, and jazz aren’t the only music genres that exist, there are tens more genres that could have an effect on one’s heart rate. This experiment can’t be generalized to the real world as the ages of the test subjects in the experiment were from 16-17 and people in this age group are more likely to listen to certain genres of music on a daily basis, thus making them desensitized to the physiological effects that certain genres of music might have. In the real world, there are older and younger people that music can have physiological effects on and so the sample of subjects used in this experiment wasn’t a true sample of the world’s general population. To add, the physical well being of the subjects wasn’t taken into consideration, if one of the test subjects had an underlying heart condition that could have skewed the data, resulting in inconclusive data.

 Having noted the sources of error and the limitations of the experiment, there are some improvements that can be made to produce more accurate, generalizable results. First, a more accurate, medical-grade heart rate monitor can be used to provide more accurate bpm readings. In selecting genres of music, there can be more genres involved in the study to see if more than just these two genres produce physiological effects. In the future, there can be a more varied selection of test subjects, for example, those of older and younger ages and those who have different preferences in genres of music. If test subjects are varied, then the results of the experiment can be generalized to the real world.

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