Perception of complexity, interest level, and preference for harmonic progression of music for adults with schizophrenia

Yoon Kyung Chung, Hyun Ju Chong, Soo Ji Kim

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1 Scopus citations


This study compared how adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and those without schizophrenia perceived the harmonic progression of music. Thirty adults diagnosed with schizophrenia (SP) and 37 healthy adults without schizophrenia (NSP) listened to musical excerpts with five different harmonic progressions. After listening to each excerpt, the participants reported their perception of the complexity of the musical excerpt, their personal interest in the excerpt, and their personal preference for the musical excerpt on an 11-point scale. The results showed that the SP group tended to be less sensitive to increased harmonic complexity, and this difference reached statistical significance ( p= 0.040). No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of their interest in or preference for harmonic progression in music. However, among harmonic progression, interest level ( p= 0.014), and personal preference ( p= 0.000), there were significant interaction effects. Overall, and in line with previous studies the findings indicate that adults with SP are less sensitive to harmonic progressions and harmonic changes in music. Findings from this study provide essential information for music selection when working with clients with schizophrenia in mental health settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Harmonic complexity
  • Harmonic progression
  • Interest level
  • Music listening
  • Preference
  • Schizophrenia


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