A few thoughts of mine before I wrote an essay on sport performance & music on a Music Psychology course. They’re just thoughts with little empiricism at this stage. I enjoyed these thoughts.
- Music & dance have evolved together.
- If it’s true that fighting is an extension of human movement, then correlating music as a stimulant for combat movement could be a powerful force that is relatively unexplored.
- In a gym setting, music is often chosen as a supplement to the physical task at hand.
- My feeling is that in a gym (recreational, boxing gym, MMA gym, etc) music is chosen as a mood regulator.
- But I don’t feel this undermines music in a sporting context.
- Rather it makes music utilitarian in this context. Music’s purpose is clearly defined if it is restricted solely to mood regulation in this context.
- Mood regulation > emotional regulation > motivational > preparation
- Authors Paul & Steinlage write: music became “part fight-manual, training the participant to use sound and rhythm as patterned corporeal engagement.”
- This is evidence of embodiment.
- They also write… “music selection is used to psychologically prep a fighter.”
Discussion 1, Genre & Gender
- Music selection is often gendered. I.e. Males & Females tend to want different content within their music. This will naturally impact performance.
Discussion 2, The Role of Music & fighting
- Rhythmical qualities of music lead to an increase in energy and physical output in the few studies analyzed…
- What are the neurological implications?
- Dopamine release > peak pleasure > increase in physical exertion
- This is a condensed breakdown for peak-pleasure, peak-experience.
- Should the music aim to produce peak experiences for the participants to increase athletic performance?