Music And Exercise

Let’s review this together before I get into more research guys =)


Katelin Koper


Music And Exercise


Exercising can mean different things to different people. It can be a new year’s resolution, a stress reliever, a way to socialize or a way of life. There are also endless types of exercises that can be performed. You can participate in group classes, run on a treadmill, join a gym, or play a sport. The possibilities are almost endless. Across all these different types and reasons, however, there are unifying characteristics. The ability to be comfortable with your own sweat and the ability to push yourself past the limits you thought you had. The mental benefit that is gained from any form of exercise and the physical satisfaction that comes along with it. There is also the question asked in every gym, by every athlete, and highlighted by the organizers of the 2007 New York Marathon. Music or no music? This question has been studied for generations, and there is conclusive evidence that music does increase performance and is an ideal tool to be used for training. (Karageorghis, 1)

Scientific research has indicated five reasons why music is effective in boosting athletic performance. They are dissociation, arousal regulation, synchronization, acquisition of motor skills, and attainment of flow. (Karageorghis, 1) Dissociation is a technique used by athletes to accomplish tasks that their mind tells them are impossible. The popular saying “just do it” is an example of dissociation ideology. Researchers also discovered that dissociation can promote a general sense of well being, and take a persons focus away from the feeling of fatigue. In a study that asked participants to run on a treadmill, it was found that dissociation through music resulted in a 10 percent reduction in perceived effort. (Peterson, 3) Of course, dissociation can not let an individual move mountains; it is found to be most effective in light to moderate intensity exercise. High intensity workouts override dissociation, however, it can still change the way an athlete responds to the fatigue. The correct type of music can help an athlete to refocus and override the feeling of exhaustion, as opposed to just giving up. (Jabr, 4) In a study conducted at the Georgia Southern University, athletes were asked to describe the experience of using music as a tool and across the panel of participants, focus, was found to be a key theme. “Music keeps me focused. I block out everything else that goes on…” (Sorenson, 10)

Music as arousal regulation is based on the belief that music has effects both on emotional and physiological aspects of a person. Therefore, music becomes the perfect tool to either amp an athlete up or to calm them down before or after a competition or workout. (Karageorghis, 2) Fast paced, up tempo music is typically used to amp an athlete up, whereas, calming slower music is used to calm nerves and help them to focus. Peoples physical bodies respond to the music itself; listening to music increases electrical activity of various regions of the brain even when we remain completely still. (Jabr, 4) From an emotional standpoint, arousal regulation operates through the use of imagery. Athletes create images within their own minds, based on associations they have with a particular song or artist. People can become immersed in an entirely different reality while listening to a particular song and this can help to increase endurance and motivate an individual. (Jabr, 4) “Really just internalizing, kind of seeing what I have to do on the field position wise, and what certain situations present themselves.”

(Sorenson, 11)

Closely related to arousal regulation is synchronization. The basic theory of which is that synchronizing repetitive movement to the rhythm of music will increase levels of work output. (Karageorghis, 3) The body is already predisposed to react to musical stimulus, so the synchronization of movement to the music would be like putting oil into your car engine, it just makes things easier. Synchronization has to do with the rhythm of a song and occurs when we match our heart rate to a corresponding frequency or bpm level. (Karageorghis, 3) The human body has an innate preference for the rhythm of 120 bpm, and an analysis of songs between the years 1960-1990 find this to be the most prevalent rhythm. However, while exercising, people tend to want a higher bpm. Studies vary on the exact number but the range is anywhere between 145 and 180 bpm for an effective synchronization pattern to occur. (Jabr, 3) A study performed among bicyclists found that when music was synchronized to their heart rates, they used 7 percent less oxygen to do the same amount of work compared to when arbitrary music was playing in the background. (Kargeorghis, 3)

The acquisition of motor skills is a function of music that is prevalent throughout our culture. Children are taught games such as ring around the rosie, duck duck goose, and miss mary mack. These are all rhythmical, music based tools to help children gain certain motor skills and coordination. Research conducted indicates that there are three possible explanations for why music can help in the acquisition of skills. The first being that music is an auditory representation of body movement. Therefore, the music can carry the body through patterns of movement since the music itself is movement turned into audible phenomena. Second, lyrics within a song can actually be action words and guide athletes through movements. For example at cross fit there is an exercise that goes along to the song “Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down.” Every time the word down is heard you have to squat and hold the position until the word up comes around, at which point you stand. Third, it makes the learning environment more fun, motivating people to obtain certain goals or perfect a movement. (Karageorghis, 4) “We were not even two minutes into our workout and everyone said ah, sweet, we’re listening to music today.” (Sorenson, 12)

The attainment of flow, while seemingly innocuous, is actually a major part of exercise. From being able to lift a barbell efficiently, to getting the kip momentum right in a pull-up, flow will make or break you, everyday. A flow state scale was created in 1996 by Jackson and Marsh consisting of nine factors, that were found to be favorably impacted when motivational music was playing. (Karageorghis, 4) Flow can also be described as intrinsic movement and is the culmination of all the other factors. Being able to step outside of your own mind and body, to perform the movement correctly, to maintain that movement at a steady pace. All these things contribute to making the exercise look easy.

While each person is an individual, it is scientifically proven that music has a positive impact before during and after a workout. It helps athletes both in and out of competition and is extensively connected to the human body. There is so much technology available to athletes now a days. Heart monitors, distance calculators, oxygen masks for endurance training. There is also so much technology that is in the works, making the future of exercise even more exciting. Recently, a game called zombie run has been released, which is the first of its kind. It narrates the runner through a series of situations that would occur if there were a zombie apocalypse as the runner is moving. There are also a few start up companies that are working on retrieving your heart rate from a monitor and automatically plugging music with the correct correlating bpm into your earphones. Healthy lifestyles are in the forefront of technology, research, and life.


1. Karageorghis, Costas. “Music in Sort and Exercise: An update on Research and Application.” The Sport Journal. Web. 2 December 2013

2. Peterson, Dan. Music Benefits Exercise, Studies Show. LiveScience 21 October 2009. Web. 2 December 2013

3. Jabr, Ferris. “Let’s Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music.” Scientific American, 20 March 2013. Web. 2 December, 2013.

4. Sorenson, Lacey. “The Experience of Music in Sport – A phenomenological Investigation. The Online Journal of Sport Psychology. 2 December, 2013.



Dave Chappelle & The Roots

Apologies in advance for the oversharing that will be taking place throughout this blog post. The level of excitement usually works in tandem with the amount of words. When you go to see Dave Chappelle and The Roots perform you can’t just go straight to the performance. This show was like getting into the ocean on the first day of summer. You had to ease your way into the majesty you’d be experiencing.

That’s why the evening started with a small plate dinner at Hanjan. I chose Hanjan because of its close proximity to Penn Station, 26th St., and also because they choose to serve meat raised with no antibiotics or hormones and fish that are not overfished or endangered. A small Korean restaurant, Hanjan offers traditional as well as more modern cuisine, with a helpful staff that helps you navigate your way through unfamiliar territory. Really quickly, try the rice beer. It’s PHENOMENAL. Also, the chicken wings really exemplify the taste difference in meats with and without hormones/antibiotics. The Leaf Dumplings and the Scallion Pancake with Squid, were two of the favorites, and the Kimchi Duo is a wonderful side dish.

Okay so now we’re ready. We’ve had some great food, a Beer we’ve all never had before, our minds are open. We are ready to wade into the waters.

Dave Chapelle Dave Chapelle 142


The First Mezzanine, The First Mezzanine, The First Mezzanine….Sit here, in the first three rows. It could be that every seat in Radio City is amazing, I don’t know for sure. But these seats were EPIC. Slap yo mama for making chocolate cake with fried ice cream epic.

Opener Comic – 21 gun salute with your orgasms when you’re 21….hit 40 might ruin your birthday….Opening Dj – got the crowd hyped but played songs, in my opinion, everybody plays, Poison, This is How We Do It…etc. etc. etc.

And then Dave.

Who is hysterical. I can’t retell his jokes for you, because, I’m just not that funny. So go see him. He talks about everything. Family life, sex tapes, LGBT jokes, racial jokes. Also, Dave Chappelle has matured into his own skin perfectly. He presents this aura on stage, not necessarily of not giving a f*ck, but of knowing who he is and being comfortable being himself. I think that adds a lot to his comedy.

“Bass for your face, highs for your eyes, Don’t blink, Black Ink has arrived ALL RISE.”

I definitely was not cool during this performance and neither was anybody else. It blew my mind. As you can see from the video above, they had a full orchestra on stage with them. A full orchestra, and before I get into the details of the show, I just want you to understand the artistic thought that went into this concert and the perfection in which it was performed. It was The Roots concert, but it was an artistic showcase as well. I know they got a lot of negative feedback to the release of their last album, “And Then You Shoot Your Cousin,” which was released in conjunction with a performance art piece, but I thought it was beautiful.

Why was it a showcase? It was a showcase because their songs were performed a lot like that video was edited. Songs were not performed as separate entities. They were blended together, lyrics were changed, in some cases DRAMATICALLY. What they did to “You Got Me,” if my mind could keep up with the apparent freestyle of Black Thought I’d hand it to you all on a silver platter. Of course, they did “Adrenaline”, “Step Into the Realm”, “Why, What’s going on.” It was also a showcase because they brought out talent not formerly associated with them. The singer you see above, a female jazz vocalist, and the dj/producer at the end, Jeremy Ellis. Jeremy Ellis is an alien by the way. Check him out. I sure as hell will be, in depth.

You can see from the video, THE HUMAN BEATBOX RAHZEL, was there. He worked with The Roots a lot over the years, mainly on their album Do You Want More?

And that would be the only negative, I did want more. A lot more. I wanted “Break You Off,” “Double Trouble,” “Act Too (the Love of my Life),” “What they Do,” “Pussy Galore,” “The Seed.” In my heart I feel like a greedy person because there was so much and so many wonderful things about the show. But the discography of The Roots is so massive they really do need at least a two hour set to get through enough material for any fan to be satisfied. It was a trade off. One I’m very happy that I made, but there will be just a Roots concert at some point in the near future.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope you enjoyed the video.

Dave Chapelle 149





Summer Dj’s and Steak

Never one to shy away from a new musical experience, I had the opportunity yesterday to hear a friend of mine perform. He’s an up and coming Dj still without a stage name (any suggestions will be passed along) and he performed his opening set in, beautiful, upstate new york, at a steak house/party patio five minutes from the Hudson. It was a beautiful day and you could smell the salty water as you sat in the shade or enjoyed the sunshine beaming down on you. The music that he and his colleagues favor is House and Techno Trance, which is definitely enjoyable when done correctly. Let me break down the positives for you. If you like to dance, you don’t have to stop, EVER. It’s this continuos mashup of grooving sounds. The main foot stomping beat is interspersed with different musical influences, tribal, ethnic, wind instruments, strings, synths, and even vocals from a wide range of other genres. At one point, he had a spoken word poem laid into his music. It was amazing. Also, the fundamentals of musical production are at the forefront in this type of music, mainly transitioning and maintaining the melodic quality of sounds as new pieces are being introduced into a set. Dj Ariel (Default Name) is definitely high caliber in this regard. His transitions were fluid and never once did I think….”ehhhh well that sound doesn’t really fit into the overall theme of the music he was putting out.” It was literally a melodic wave you could just ride on for two hours. 

On our travels back to the island of long, I had the opportunity to listen to Carl Cox on Soundcloud playing through the car system. If you’re new to techno/house music, I’d definitely recommend that you give him a listen. I also had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the history and evolution of the genre and would like to share some of this newfound knowledge with you all here. The sounds of house and techno originated on Disco dance floors. More specifically, on the Disco dance floors of gay bars. The sound that later became known as house music was a subculture of individuals, gays, mainly minorities, literally dancing to the beat of their own drum. Frankie Knuckles (LISTEN TO HIM) is considered the grandfather of mainstream house music as we know it today. Originally from New York City this soon to be infamous Dj moved to Chicago in the late 70’s and began working at a club called the Warehouse. Chicago producer Chip E. took a liking to Knuckles and worked with him to release his first track “You Can’t Hide From Yourself.” (Side Note: Just appreciate how many genres of life changing music came from the struggle of outsiders trying to find a place in mainstream society) He continued to work with a variety of different artists, producing, remixing, recording and eventually released his debut album in 1991 titled, “Beyond the Mix.” By this point, the type of music he was putting out popularly dubbed “House”, in respect for the club Warehouse where he originated, was popular not only in America but in the UK as well. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and evolution of this sound check out documentaries, The UnUsual Suspects: Once Upon a Time in House Music, directed by Chip E. and also Continental, which takes an in depth look at Continental Baths, a gay bathouse located in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel in NYC.

Enjoy all your musical meanderings! 


What It Takes To Be You

So this recording was written and performed by an awesome individual named Eric. I love his sound and this recording does not do him justice, but it was the first one I’ve ever done. Many thanks to him!

To go into the specifics of the recording process we used 2, cardioid mics, for the acoustic guitar, 4 supercardioid for the bass, 12 (multiple polar patterns) for the drums and one tube mic for the vocals with a pop filter.

We used an Oran BEQ 24 mixer, mixing entirely out of the box.

Enjoy and I hope you like this song as much as I do. =)

Governors Ball Video

I’d just like to say, this little snippet does not do Governors Ball Justice, at all. Jack White was incredible, Childish Gambino was a million times better than anticipated…but all that will come later in a blog post. What this video really is, hopefully, is a summation of what Governors Ball can mean.

So if you’re watching. I hope you like it =)