image by me
For this DRF, I want to share a study about music and mood. It's an oldie, but a goodie.
Bruner, G. (1990). "Music , Mood and Marketing." Journal of Marketing, 54(4): 94-104.
This paper is not about an experiment, rather it's a review of the literature on the subject. That means there's a lot of juicy info in there. There's a big focus on marketing and people's purchasing behaviour, which is really interesting but I won't focus on it. This blog is more about personal spaces than retail ones.
I think we can all agree that music affects our mood. And if we are playing music in a space, then it becomes part of the environment. Certain characteristics of music have been found to evoke certain emotional reactions. Take a look at these two summary tables:
- Simple harmonies and predictable rhythms are relaxing.
- Complex harmonies and unpredictable rhythms are arousing.
- Slow, soft and complex music evokes feelings of sadness.
- Slow, soft and simple music is relaxing.
- Fast, loud and simple music is energizing.
- Fast, loud and complex music can induce negative arousal, like anger.
Again, these findings seem intuitive, right? But as you know, I like to put some "fact" behind our feelings. Still, just looking at the title of my personal playlists - "workout", "dinner party", "getting ready", "chilling" - and the contents of each list, and I can see that indeed, they correspond to the findings discussed above. Depending on the activity, the appropriate mood is pulled forth by the characteristics of the music. The wonderful thing about music as an interior design element, is that you can change it very easily to suit the activity and desired mood.
Music is one way to manipulate our relationship with our environment, but there are so many other factors to consider when it comes to the soundscape of a space. For example, natural or external sounds and architecture affect our experience of sound in a space. There are ways to manipulate those variables too, in order to create a space with ideal sound characteristics, which in turn affects our mood. But maybe we can get into that another time...
So what are you listening to these days? I can't stop with the soundtrack from the movie Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie Poulain. It was completely composed by Yann Tiersen.
Wishing you a fabuleux weekend.