New Study Questions Purported Value of Classical Music During Psychedelic Therapy

November 2, 2021 12:05:32

A study has found that playing overtone-based music in psychedelic therapy is more beneficial than playing classical music. For some time now, psychedelic therapy has made use of Western classical music, with some cited works even recommending the genre’s use. However, new research has found that individual differences in music preference may influence therapeutic outcomes in sessions that involve the use of music.

Justin C. Strickland and his colleagues Matthew W. Johnson and Albert Garcia-Romeu carried out an analysis of data collected from an open-label study on the use of psilocybin in stopping smoking, in order to assess the impact of musical genre on therapeutic outcomes. Their findings were reported in the “ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science” journal.

Their target study included 10 nicotine-dependent participants who had concluded psilocybin therapy sessions. Two different playlists were played during the first two therapy sessions after each participant had received their dose of the psychedelic.

One of the playlists emphasized instruments that had strong overtone signatures such as gongs, bells and chimes while the other playlist was made up of classical music that resembled playlists that had been utilized by other researchers. On their third session, the participants were allowed to choose which playlist to listen to.

After every session, each participant had to fill out two questionnaires evaluating their experiences as well as the mystical effects of psilocybin. The researchers found that greater mystical experiences were observed in sessions that used the nonclassical playlist in comparison with the classical music playlist.

Researchers also found that the challenging experiences were the same across both playlists, noting that two of the four participants who selected the classical music playlist abstained from smoking at the end of their treatment and even at their 6-month and 12-month follow up.

The remaining number of participants selected the nonclassical playlist, with researchers finding that of this number, four remained abstinent at the 6-month and 12-month follow up. The researchers believe that their observations challenge the common notion that classical music is more beneficial in psychedelic therapy.

It should be noted, however, that the study had a few limitations, including the fact that the target study had a small sample. Additionally, data on every participant’s musical preference wasn’t collected. Furthermore, there was an overlap between the playlists used in the analysis, which may potentially restrict the ability to fully differentiate between the genres used.

There is still plenty to learn about psychedelics and how they can be used therapeutically, and it is a good thing that several companies, including Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF), are studying these substances with a view to coming up with approved medicinal formulations.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at

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