Beneficial effects of music on several performance-related aspects of sport have been reported, but the processes involved are not well understood. The purpose of the present study was to investigate effects of relaxing and arousing classical music on physiological indicators and subjective perceptions of arousal during imagery of a sport task. First, appropriate music excerpts were selected. Then, 12 skilled shooters performed shooting imagery while listening to the three preselected music excerpts in randomized order. Participants' galvanic skin response, peripheral temperature, and electromyography were monitored during music played concurrently with imagery. Subjective music ratings and physiological measures showed, as hypothesized, that unfamiliar relaxing music was the most relaxing and unfamiliar arousing music was the most arousing. Researchers should examine the impact of unfamiliar relaxing and arousing music played during imagery on subsequent performance in diverse sports. Practitioners can apply unfamiliar relaxing and arousing music with imagery to manipulate arousal level.
Kuan, G., Morris, T., & Terry, P. (2017). Effects of music on arousal during imagery in elite shooters: A pilot study. PLoS ONE, 12(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175022