Effects of Maqams in Music on Anxiety: A Preliminary, Randomized Controlled Trial


Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine




INTRODUCTION: Music is widely used to reduce anxiety, and the beneficial effects of music on anxiety are well established. Maqams represent a system of melodic modes used in traditional Turkish music. Different maqams may have different effects on anxiety. OBJECTIVE: The current study intended to investigate the effects of Hicaz and Huseyni maqams on anxiety and to evaluate whether a difference in effects exists. DESIGN: The research team performed a preliminary, randomized controlled trial. SETTING: The study took place in the Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts, at Izmir Democracy University in Izmir, Turkey. PARTICIPANTS: The participants were 87 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 27, who were students studying at the university. INTERVENTION: The participants were randomly divided into three groups, with 29 participants in each group. One intervention group listened to the music in the Hicaz maqam-the Hicaz group-and the second listed to the music in the Huseyni maqam-the Huseyni group-for 30 minutes a day for a week. The control group received no intervention. OUTCOME MEASURES: The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) was used to measure participants' level of anxiety. RESULTS: No significant differences existed between the three groups in the BAI scores at baseline (P = .97). For the Hicaz and Huseyni groups, a significant decrease was found in the mean BAI scores between baseline and postintervention (P < .001), but no statistically significant difference was found for the control group (P = .29). No statistically significant difference in the BAI scores existed postintervention between the Hicaz and the Huseyni groups (P = .66) or between the Hicaz group and the control group (P = .06), but a statistically significant difference did exist between the Huseyni and the control groups (P = .01). CONCLUSIONS: Listening to music is an effective auxiliary method for reducing anxiety. The type of music to which an individual listens can affect this benefit, with some types having a greater positive effect than others.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Anxiety Disorders; Anxiety; Subjective Measures; Music Medicine; Music Listening; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Disorders; Adolescents; Turkey

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type


This document is currently not available here.