Bodily responses to music

Donald A. Hodges

in Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780199298457
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Bodily responses to music


This article explores bodily responses to music, i.e., physiological and physical responses. Bodily responses to music are among the core experiences of music. They are hugely complex, with a myriad of response types interwoven into the fabric of thoughts, feelings, and social context. Bodily responses are highly idiosyncratic, as each person brings a unique self to a music-listening situation. Researchers have made significant strides in ferreting out the details of these responses, and, in collaboration with practitioners, have made progress in utilizing this knowledge, particularly in music therapy and music-medicine applications. With all this, however, the richness and complexity of the human experience leaves much yet to be discovered.

Keywords: bodily response; physical response; physiological response; musical experience

Article.  6585 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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