Does mood affect music?

September 20, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

10 comments on “Does mood affect music?”

  1. Agreeing on Paul’s finding concerning the importance of the actual mood when listening to a stereo system there is one basic conclusion for a marketing guy being responsible for the market launch of a new product: bring the reviewer into the right mood! Same job for the dealer!

  2. The question is incorrectly phrased: mood does not affect the music which are sounds reproduced by your stereo system which will register on sound analyzing devices the same regardless of you mood (barring you going into a rage and destroying things, lol). The question is really “Does mood affect your perception of music”, which is a different question. Just to be precise and scientific.

    1. I agree with you, but a still better phrasing would perhaps be: does the listeners mood affect the perception of the quality of a musical reproduction system?
      I remember listening for the first time to Cat Stevens LP on a simple Philips stereo set with the tangential arm on the player… I was impressed and never heard that record better than at that moment 🙂

      As a musicien I read the question first as: “does music affect the mood?” Yeah, of course!

      musical greetings,
      Niek Muziek
      The Netherlands

      1. But the question was “Does mood affect music?”, and clearly anyone’s mood does not change the sounds which are produced via the stereo system, that was the thrust of my argument.

  3. This is the one thing that Paul and I, have in common with each other.
    Looking back from the time that I was a child right upon to my extreme early twenties, there was always a piece of music that went with a certain time of day for me.
    And it’s those times in both spring and fall that I remember most.
    A certain kind of a jazz song, will make me think of the many sunsets that I’ve seen, long before I lost the ability to see.
    Sometimes, it’s songs that makes me think about all the sunrises too as well.
    But like he said, it depends on the quality of your system.
    Because, if your system is not an ideal system concerning sound quality, your mood is gonna really be bent out of shape for real.
    Trust me, I’ve been down that road before.
    It wasn’t a pleasant trip either.
    I guess today, is why I’m so heavily in to anything with tubes in it.
    I feel more relaxed when I’m listening to music on a really grate sounding system.

  4. I’ll go the other way, ‘Does music affect mood?’
    If you love music & you’re an audiophile & you like the sound of your home audio rig then, nine times out of ten, playing some of your favourite tunes will pull you right outta dat funk that you’re in 🙂

  5. Certainly music has an effect on mood. Just think of watch the movie “Jaws” with no music at all. The music set the mood. The other way around, does my mood effect how I relate to or perceive the music, of course, just like how I may approach food. If I am happy and hungry a great meal will be appreciated. If I am glum nothing is pleasing, if I am angry I may not want to eat at all. Of course this is me and someone else may have very different reactions to their mood and food and I would guess the same must be true with music.
    It is odd that what stimulates us can be both within us and outside of us. That is why I love being an aspiring audiophile.

  6. I’m gonna say absolutely! The state of mind or mood one is in effects concentration and enthusiasm and depending on the levels of those two feelings, by all accounts, music will be perceived differently. 😉

  7. Mood impacts emotions, when I am stressed my system sounds bright and aggressive, when I am relaxed it sings to me. After that, your room makes a huge impact on the sound, as much as gear if not more.

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