The Effects of Music Intensity on Performance and Cardiovascular Responses in Athletes

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Sports Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: The current study aimed to evaluate the effects of different musical intensities on performance and cardiovascular responses after incremental exercise in male athletes. 
Materials and Methods: In this quasi-experimental study with a cross-over design, 15 male athletes were voluntarily selected. The study subjects performed Bruce protocol, along with listening to progressive music, slow music, and without music until exhaustion. 
Results: This study indicated that systolic and diastolic blood pressure, maximum oxygen consumption, maximum heart rate, and time to exhaustion insignificantly decreased while listening to slow music, compared to the no music (P=0.134, P=0.993, P=0.999, P=0.160, P=0.819, respectively). Furthermore, while listening to progressive music, compared to no music, the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as maximum heart rate insignificantly increased (P=0.735, P=0.999, P=0.496, respectively); the maximum oxygen consumption and the time of exhaustion significantly increased in the study subjects (P=0.043, P=0.008 respectively). Moreover, while listening to progressive music, compared to slow music, the systolic blood pressure, maximum oxygen consumption, maximum heart rate, and the time of exhaustion significantly increased (P=0.004, P=0.009, P=0.002, P=0.001 respectively); however, diastolic blood pressure presented an insignificant decrease (P=0.253). 
Conclusion: The obtained findings revealed that listening to progressive music can affect physiological factors and performance during exercising. It increases the athlete’s motivation and postpones the time to exhaustion to continue exercising; however, listening to slow music creates a state of relaxation during exercise and reduces heart rate. As a result, individuals with hypertension can decline their blood pressure during endurance exercise by listening to soft music.


  1. Noble BJ, Robertson RJ. Perceived exertion. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1996.
  2. Bateman A, Bale J, Sporting sounds: Relationships between sport and music. London: Routledge; 2008. [DOI:10.4324/9780203887974]
  3. Karageorghis CI, Priest D-L. Music in the exercise domain: A review and synthesis (Part I). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2012; 5(1):44-66. [DOI:10.1080/1750984X.2011.631027] [PMID] [PMCID]
  4. Vaez Mousavi SMK, Nikbakhsh R. The impact of sensory and music deprivation on perception of pressure and temperament during exercise (Persian)]. Olympic Quarterly. 1997; 5(1-2):55-61.
  5. Karageorghis CI, Terry PC. The psychophysical effects of music in sport and exercise: A review. Journal of Sport Behavior. 1997; 20(1):54-68.
  6. Thakare AE, Mehrotra R, Singh A. Effect of music tempo on exercise performance and heart rate among young adults. International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology. 2017; 9(2):35-9. [PMID] [PMCID]
  7. Barwood MJ, Weston NJV, Thelwell R, Page J. A motivational music and video intervention improves high-intensity exercise performance. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 2009; 8(3):435-42. [PMID] [PMCID]
  8. McCraty R, Barrios-Choplin B, Atkinson M, Tomasino D. The effects of different types of music on mood, tension, and mental clarity. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 1998; 4(1):75-84. [PMID]
  9. Pujol TJ, Langenfeld ME. Influence of music on Wingate Anaerobic Test performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 1999; 88(1):292-6. [DOI:10.2466/pms.1999.88.1.292] [PMID]
  10. Beshai S, Watson LM, Meadows TJS, Soucy JN. Perceptions of cognitive-behavioral therapy and antidepressant medication for depression after brief psychoeducation: Examining shifts in attitudes. Behavior Therapy. 2019; 50(5):851-63. [DOI:10.1016/j.beth.2019.01.001] [PMID]
  11. Birnbaum L, Huschle B, Boone T. Cardiovascular responses to music tempo during steady-state exe Journal of Exercise Physiology. 2009; 12(1):50-7.
  12. Koç H, Curtseit T. The effects of music on athletic performance. Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education & Sport/Science, Movement & Health. 2009; 9(1):43-7.
  13. Tiev M, Manire SA, Robert JR, Barbara W. Effect of music and dialogue on perception of exertion, enjoyment, and metabolic responses during exercise. International Journal of Fitness. 2010; 6(2):45-52.
  14. Barzegar H, Vosadi E, Soori R, Akbarnejad A. [Effect of music on athlete metabolic responses during incremental exercise (Persian)]. Medical Sciences Journal of Islamic Azad University Tehran Medical Branch. 2014; 24(3):153-8.
  15. Szmedra L, Bacharach DW. Effect of music on perceived exertion, plasma lactate, norepinephrine and cardiovascular hemodynamics during treadmill running. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 1998; 19(1):32-7. [DOI:10.1055/s-2007-971876] [PMID]
  16. Meis JK. Modification of perceived enjoyment, exertion and performance among novice and experienced exercisers: A cognitive-behavioral approach to perceptual change [PhD dissertation]. Tallahassee: Florida State University; 2003.
  17. Bacon C, Myers T, Karageorghis CI. Effect of movement-music synchrony and tempo on exercise oxygen consumption. Manuscript submitted for publication. 2008.
  18. Karageorghis CI, Jones L, Stuart DP. Psychological effects of music tempi during exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008; 29(7):613-9. [DOI:10.1055/s-2007-989266] [PMID]
  19. Simpson SD, Karageorghis CI. The effects of synchronous music on 400-m sprint performance. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2006; 24(10):1095-102. [DOI:10.1080/02640410500432789] [PMID]
  20. Eliakim M, Meckel Y, Nemet D, Eliakim A. The effect of music during warm-up on consecutive anaerobic performance in elite adolescent volleyball playe International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2007; 28(04):321-5. [DOI:10.1055/s-2006-924360] [PMID]
  21. Brownley KA, McMurray RG, Hackney AC. Effects of music on physiological and affective responses to graded treadmill exercise in trained and untrained runne International Journal of Psychophysiology. 1995; 19(3):193-201. [DOI:10.1016/0167-8760(95)00007-F]
  22. Macone D, Baldari C, Zelli A, Guidetti L. Music and physical activity in psychological well-being. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2006; 103(1):285-95. [DOI:10.2466/PMS.103.5.285-295] [PMID]
  23. Crust L, Clough PJ. The influence of rhythm and personality in the endurance response to motivational asynchronous music. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2006; 24(2):187-95. [DOI:10.1080/02640410500131514] [PMID]
  24. Copeland BL, Franks BD. Effects of types and intensities of background music on treadmill endurance. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 1991; 31(1):100-3. [PMID]
  25. Lemmer B. Effects of music composed by Mozart and Ligeti on blood pressure and heart rate circadian rhythms in normotensive and hypertensive rats. Chronobiology International. 2008; 25(6):971-86. [DOI:10.1080/07420520802539415] [PMID]
  26. Szabo A, Small A, Leigh M. The effects of slow-and fast-rhythm classical music on progressive cycling to voluntary physical exhaustion. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 1999; 39(3):220-5. [PMID]
  27. Elliott D, Carr S, Orme D. The effect of motivational music on sub-maximal exercise. European Journal of Sport Science. 2005; 5(2):97-106. [DOI:10.1080/17461390500171310]
  28. Nakamura PM, Pereira G, Papini CB, Nakamura FY, Kokubun E. Effects of preferred and nonpreferred music on continuous cycling exercise performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2010; 110(1):257-64. [DOI:10.2466/pms.110.1.257-264] [PMID]