Listening to happy music will generally improve your mood, but according to a new study released Thursday, it can also help you function more creatively at work.
The report found that creativity levels were higher for people who listened to "happy music" while completing divergent creativity tasks - tasks that have multiple possible solutions.
While compared with those who listened to silence, or tasks that require a simple "correct" answer, no difference was noted with convergent creativity,
With the emergence of technology being a driver of the current global innovation race, a greater understanding of the role of music on our creativity is important, particularly when working, one of the authors on the study, Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), told Xinhua on Thursday.
"If we are trying to be more creative, it is good to have a working understanding of the role of our environment - and one of the big things we can do with environment is to add, or subtract, music," Ferguson said.
For the study, four pieces of music were selected that were categorized by the different moods they are said to evoke - calm, happy, sad, anxious - with all the pieces being classical, such as Gustav Holst's The Planets: Mars, or Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
This was done in order to be able to compare the results of the current study to previous studies, but Ferguson said that he was keen to explore other forms of music, including more current music, to see what potential impact it might have on brain function.
"There are two elements to that, you want to know what modern music does - the other element is familiarity with the music, and liking the music is usually because it works better for you, and makes you happier, or so to speak," Ferguson said.
"That's an element that needs to be considered, and other research has shown that if you're talking about other effects that music has - familiarity and preference actually play a big role."
However, Ferguson pointed out that the key to using music as a creative tool may lie more solely with the individual, and stressed that not all "happy music" will necessarily make you more creative.
"There are lots of studies to suggest that some music would probably be more distracting than anything, so this can't be taken as a necessarily wide-ranging thing," Ferguson said.
"Some people learn how to alter their environment so they can be more creative in various ways, and this might be one key element."
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