Music and mindfulness meditation: Comparing four music stimuli composed under similar principles

Eugenia Hernandez-Ruiz, Abbey L. Dvorak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mindfulness meditation has frequently used sound and music as an important component. However, research on effective music stimuli is scarce. After a series of studies evaluating the most effective, useful, and preferred auditory stimuli, we were interested in exploring whether these effective musical features were transferred to new music. In this study, we evaluate our original music stimuli with three new stimuli composed under similar principles. Non-musician and musician participants (N = 114) in a multisite study evaluated their mindfulness state after listening to four music stimuli, and rated their usefulness and preference. Results from a repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) at each site indicated no significant difference in mindfulness effectiveness. Friedman’s ANOVAs for the usefulness of the music stimuli showed similar non-significant results in both sites. A mixed model among sites did not show significant differences among groups. Preference rankings were not significantly different for non-musicians, but musicians did show a statistically significant preference of the Original stimuli over Stimulus 2, probably due to sound quality. These results indicate the feasibility of transferring previously researched and effective musical features to new stimuli. Identifying the effective “active ingredients” of music interventions may be one way of supporting evidence-based practice in music therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1636
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology of Music
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • listening
  • mindfulness
  • music therapy
  • preference
  • similarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Music


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