Responses of hyperactive and normal children to variations in tempo of background music

P. S. Klein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations


    The present study was designed to explore the effects of variations in the tempo of background music on hyperactive and normal subjects. The subjects were asked to perform two types of tasks: a structured, repetitive motor task and an unstructured task of free drawing. The sample consisted of 80 boys, with a mean age of 66 months, of whom 40 were hyperactive and 40 normal. Each subject was tested individually under conditions of no musical background, slow tempo and fast tempo backgrounds. Variations in the tempo of background music were found to have a different effect on hyperactive as compared to normal subjects. For both subject groups these effects differed in relation to the nature of the task carried out by the subjects. Fast tempo music increased the number of errors made by all subjects on a structured task requiring repetitive motor responses. The hyperactive subjects made more errors than the other group under the fast tempo condition. The slow tempo condition brought the performance of the hyperactive children closest to that of the normals. For the unstructured task of free drawing most hyperactive children performed best under the no music condition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-166
    Number of pages10
    JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1981


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