Music and drug induced altered states an overview
1 / 32

Music and drug-induced altered states - an overview - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Music and drug-induced altered states - an overview. Dr. Jörg Fachner Chair for Qualitative Research in Medicine Faculty of Medicine Content. Background (classification and action of drugs) Cultural aspects of music and drugs Studies on music and drugs.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Music and drug-induced altered states - an overview' - tawny

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Music and drug induced altered states an overview

Music and drug-induced altered states - an overview

Dr. Jörg Fachner

Chair for Qualitative Research

in Medicine

Faculty of Medicine


  • Background (classification and action of drugs)

  • Cultural aspects of music and drugs

  • Studies on music and drugs

Aldridge & Fachner (2006) Music and altered states. London: Jessica Kingsley

Activation and inhibition
Activation and Inhibition

  • psychoactive drugs alter

    • the evaluation of sensory input,

    • its conceptual comparison with known contents and

    • the assessment parameters of (not) relevant information

  • This happens through drug-specific individual activation and inhibition of the interaction between midbrain, cerebrum and cerebellum.

Music euphoria nts and chills
Music, Euphoria(nts) and ‚Chills‘

  • highly preferred music induces ‘chills’

    • Music activates the same brain regions as euphoriant drugs like cocaine

    • mediated via Mesolimibic reward system

      • Neurotransmitters: Dopamin, Opioids, Annandamide (Cannabinoids),

  • Reference: Blood, A. J., & Zatorre, R. J. (2001). Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 98(20), 11818-11823.

  • Music drugs culture
    Music, Drugs & Culture

    • connections between music and dance and the cultural evolution of human behaviour and social bonding of relationships (Freeman 2000)

      • Traditional knowledge of the induction of altered states of consciousness (ASC) is connected with chemical and behavioural forms of induction

        • ASC (trance/ecstasy) serve to break through traditional customs and concepts of reality

          • heighten susceptibility to new information (De Rios & Grob 1994)

        • Initiation rituals (Blätter 1990)

    Drugs music in ethnic rituals
    Drugs & Music in Ethnic Rituals

    • On Psilocybin by Weber (1974), on Ayahusca by de Rios and Katz (1972, 2006) and on Iboga by Maas & Strubelt (2006)

    • Induce cross modal intensification, regression processes and lead to more vivid association and vision correlated to the music

    • Traditional songs (‘Icarus’  Ayahusca) and rhythms (polyrhythms  Iboga) help to get in contact with personalised cultural means i.e. plant spirits, ancestors and associated cultural cosmologies

    • Music structure and drug action functions as an entraining and guiding framework for the healing ceremony


    Rave parties and mdma extasy
    Rave Parties and MDMA (extasy)

    • Music and dance combined with the ingestion of MDMA intensified but not essential for the experience of the party (Hutson 2000)

    • Technoshamanic setting of music, dance and exctasy, as carriers of an intended, evoked altered state

    • Trance-inducing function of accelerando and crescendo, de- and increase of volume, polyrhythmic patterns, sudden breaks (Mitterlehner 1996; Rouget 1985)

    • Spiritual, crisis and peak experiences (Hutson 2000; Mitterlehner 1996; Lowis 1998)

    • Loud music intensifies the effects of MDMA (Iannone et al 2006)

    Psychedelic music and counter culture
    Psychedelic Music and ‚Counter Culture‘

    • Music and texts of pop artists revealed a spiritual search or longing

    • Indications of spiritual experience and attitudes of musicians and artists on the covers of albums and in texts

    • Images and symbols described revealed a mystical experience of archetypes (Taeger 1988)

    • „Psychedelic Coding“:symbolic and semiotic codings of elements of ‘psychedelic culture’ in composition and sound design (Whiteley 1992, 1997)

      • metaphorical links between cultural semantics and drug effects in music and socio-cultural environments of the groups

    Tomorrow never knows
    Tomorrow never knows

    In: Thomas Böhm (1999) in Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung 24

    Consumers predilection
    Consumers‘ Predilection

    • Musical style is the expression of an associated life style in relation to the habits of the artists and their ‘scenes’ (Shapiro 1998)

    • predilection of a sub cultural scene for a certain drug is always a kind of fashion to get ‘turned on’ (Shapiro 1998; Lyttle & Montagne 1992)

    • enter certain physiological states in order to experience the normal and the unusual, events and moods more intensively and from a new perspective

    • higher tendency to consume cannabis in musicians compared to other artists (N=82) (Kerr 1992)

    Music perception and cannabis
    Music Perception and Cannabis

    • Cannabis action stages: Euphoriant, Psychedelic, Sedative (Baudelaire 1860; Julien 1997)

    • „ Sounds dress themselves in colours, and the colours contain music“(Baudelaire 1860)

    • change in cognitive style, a hyper-focussed perception of sound and an inner trip into acoustic space

      • „…a reorientation of perception takes place, the limited visual space disappears, and the acoustic space is perceived as a sphere, with the corresponding reaction“(Curry 1968)

    Piano fantasy in the ‚Club de Haschischin‘, Paris 1845

    On being stoned
    „On Being Stoned“

    • Dose, subjective effect and auditory perception(Tart 1971, S. 75)

    Cannabis and auditory changes
    Cannabis and Auditory Changes

    • Improvements with theSeashore-Rhythm-Test (Aldrich 1946 und Reed 1974)

    • Impact on time perception as a reciprocal relation of subjectively slowed-down time, in the sense of an expansion of time and a cannabis-induced acceleration of the „inner“ clock(Melges 1971)

    • Expanded auditory (intensity) metrics (Globus 1978)

    • Frequency preferences in favour of higher frequencies(de Souza 1974)

    A changed metric frame of reference
    A changed metric frame of reference?

    • Cannabis

      • Intensification in individual cerebral listening strategies

      • Induces a perceptive hyper focus on acoustic spatial sound and the (time) structure of music

      • Induces changes in the perception of time, frequencies and space

      • Influences the perceptive focus of spatial-temporal sound gestalts

      • may be perceived as improving psychoacoustic quality

    Musicians say
    Musicians say:

    • “I think that pot definitely did something for the old ears, like suddenly I could hear more subtle things in the sound.” George Harrisonin (Boyd 1992: 206)

    • “it does create a larger vision, and if that’s the case, then it would apply to your instrument because the more you see, the more you can do.” Robin Horn in (Boyd, 1992: 205)

    • “Because the chief effect … is that it lengthens the sense of time, and therefore they (Jazz Musicians) could get more grace beats into their music than they could if they simply followed a written copy. … In other words, if you are a musician you’re going to play the thing the way it is printed on a sheet. But if you’re using marihuana, you’re going to work in about as twice as much music in-between the first note and the second note. That’s what made jazz musicians. The idea that they could jazz things up, lighten them up...” (in Sloman 1998)

    Eeg studies on cannabis and music
    EEG Studies on Cannabis and music

    • process of listening is intensified and focussed temporarily; individual listening strategies change (Hess 1973; Fachner 2002)

    • Hess 1973

      • frontal and parietal increases of alpha and a decrease in the frequency in correlation to the contemplation phase

      • it was possible to control the altered state through music

    Pre post thc music changes
    Pre/post THC music changes



    Dark (green, blue) colours = Less EEG amplitudes (activity)

    Individual pre post thc music alpha
    Individual pre/post-THC-music alpha


    S 1

    S 2

    S 3

    S 4

    Post- THC

    Alpha, Amplitude Mapping; 30 V -scaling in Pre/Post conditions,

    Significance mapping
    Significance Mapping

    pre/post-THC-music changes (p<0.025) were found in the right fronto-temporal cortex on theta, and on Alpha in the left occipital cortex.

    Cannabinoid receptors in the brain
    Cannabinoid receptors in the brain

    • Midbrain (Limbic system)

    • Hypothalamus

    • Amygdala

    • Hippocampus

    • Cingulate cortex

    • Cerebellum

    • Regions process:

    • intensity perception; memory; selection, temporal and movement processes

    Source: Joy et al, 1999 IOM-Report (

    Cannabis action on music
    Cannabis action on music

    • temporarily more intense stimulation of the cannabinoid receptor system

    • according to a personal music preference

    • in a given set and setting for the drug experience of listener or musician and

    • this influences his or her focus of attention on the musical time-space


    • cognitive processing in the cerebrum will be hampered

    • Propofol (Heinke & Koelsch 2004) evokes a decreased ability to process chords and tones correlated with decreased amplitudes and higher latencies in auditory event related potentials

    • Benzodiazipine (Harrer 1991) induced a short-term decoupling from vegetative and psychic processes resulting in an increasing indifference and disinterest of emotional and aesthetical apperception of music

    Book websites
    Book & Websites



      • (Conference paper download)

    Aldridge & Fachner (2006) Music and altered states. London: Jessica Kingsley

    Dose dependend frequency preference
    Dose dependend frequency preference

    In: deSouza et al 1974 Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2(5) 607-11

    Preference for higher frequencies
    Preference for higher frequencies

    In: deSouza et al 1974 Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2(5) 607-11

    Expanded auditory units volume
    Expanded auditory units (volume)

    Globus, G. 1978 J Psychedel Drugs 10 (1) 71-76

    Wirkansatz von cannabis
    Wirkansatz von Cannabis

    • Eher im Bereich der Hörbahn und im Gehirn

    • Nicht im peripheren Hörapparat

    Music and drug induced altered states an overview

    The ladies meet for „tea“ The Illustrated Police News 1876