A scientific study published in Public Health in 2016 shows clear-cut evidence for the benefit of attending live music events. The groundbreaking test comes in at the biological level, as scientists measured levels of cortisol and cortisone both before and after a concert.
Cortisol is a hormone factor, produced under conditions of psychological stress. By measuring saliva samples before and after a specific concert, the entirety of the 117 participants showed major reductions in cortisol levels after the fact.
While previous studies had shown similar results, this was the first conducted in a natural concert setting, as opposed to a laboratory. The results showed that cortisol levels were reduced in participants of all ages.
“These results are in line with 22 previous studies showing that listening to music in the controlled setting of either a laboratory or a hospital can reduce cortisol levels,” said one researcher in an interview with The Telegraph. “It is of note that none of these biological changes were associated with age, musical experience or familiarity with the music being performed. This suggests there is a universal response to concert attendance among audience members.”
The one drawback, however, is that the music selection was limited to classical. Further research would be needed to see if other genres show similar conclusions. Still, as lead researcher Daisy Fancourt said, “This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity.”
So, keep on living for live music!