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The impact of pitch, volume and tempo on the atmospheric effects of music

Malcolm Sullivan (Malcolm Sullivan is Principal Lecturer at Nottingham Business School, The Nottingham Trent University Nottingham, UK.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 June 2002



The atmospheric effects of music were tested in a restaurant setting. Four conditions were applied in a type of latin square design with meal duration and expenditure (food and drinks) as dependent variables. The four conditions related volume (loud vs soft), tempo (fast vs slow), style (popular vs unpopular) and the absence of any music. The findings showed that only volume had a significant effect on meal duration and expenditure (both food and drinks), although an additional finding that would require further experimental verification was that the presence of music of any type significantly affected duration and expenditure when compared to the absence of music. To explain the findings a distinction was made between active and passive activities, and it was suggested that different mechanisms explained the atmospheric effects for each. Active activities could be explained by the environment typicality argument whereas the boredom alleviation model could explain passive activities.



Sullivan, M. (2002), "The impact of pitch, volume and tempo on the atmospheric effects of music", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 323-330.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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