Increased music appreciation

Increased music appreciation is a general sense of an increased enjoyment of music. When music is listened to during this state, not only does it subjectively sound better, but the perceived music and lyrical content may have a profound impact on the listener. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

This experience can give one a sense of hyper-awareness of every sound, lyric, melody, and complex layer of noise within a song in addition to an enhanced ability to individually comprehend their significance and interplay. The perceived emotional intent of the musician and the meaning of the music may also be felt in a greater level of clarity than it would be during everyday sober living. [3] This effect can result in the belief, legitimate or delusional, that one has connected with the “true meaning” or “spirit” behind an artist’s song. During particularly enjoyable songs, this effect can result in feelings of overwhelming harmony [5] and a general sense of appreciation that can leave the person with a deep sense of connection towards the artist they are listening to.

Increased music appreciation is commonly mistaken as a purely auditory effect, but it is more likely the result of several coinciding components, such as novelty enhancement, personal meaning enhancement, emotion intensification, and auditory enhancement. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics [1] [4] [7] , dissociatives [8] , and cannabinoids [3] . However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of stimulants [3] [7] and GABAergic depressants.


  1. [1][2]
    Kaelen, M., Barrett, F. S., Roseman, L., Lorenz, R., Family, N., Bolstridge, M., ... & Carhart-Harris, R. L. (2015). LSD enhances the emotional response to music. Psychopharmacology, 232(19), 3607-3614. |
  2. Kaelen, M., Roseman, L., Kahan, J., Santos-Ribeiro, A., Orban, C., Lorenz, R., ... & Wall, M. B. (2016). LSD modulates music-induced imagery via changes in parahippocampal connectivity. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(7), 1099-1109. |
  3. [1][2][3][4]
    Fachner, J. (2002). The space between the notes-Research on cannabis and music perception. Looking Back, Looking Ahead-Popular Music Studies, 20, 308-319. |
  4. [1][2]
    Nichols, D. E. (2016). Psychedelics. Pharmacological reviews, 68(2), 264-355. |
  5. [1][2]
    Kaelen, M., Giribaldi, B., Raine, J., Evans, L., Timmerman, C., Rodriguez, N., ... & Carhart-Harris, R. (2018). The hidden therapist: evidence for a central role of music in psychedelic therapy. Psychopharmacology, 235(2), 505-519. |
  6. Belser, Alexander B.; Agin-Liebes, Gabrielle; Swift, T. Cody; Terrana, Sara; Devenot, Neşe; Friedman, Harris L.; Guss, Jeffrey; Bossis, Anthony; Ross, Stephen (2017). "Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis". Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 57 (4): 354–388. |
  7. [1][2]
    McGlothlin, W., Cohen, S., & McGlothlin, M. S. (1967). Long lasting effects of LSD on normals. Archives of General Psychiatry, 17(5), 521-532. |
  8. Lim, D. K. (2003). Ketamine associated psychedelic effects and dependence. Singapore Med J, 44(1), 31-34. |




The following people contributed to the content of this article: