...that most of the volunteers had generated significantly greater muscular force while working at the musically equipped machines than the unmodified ones. They also had used less oxygen to generate that force and reported that their exertions had felt less strenuous. Their movements were also more smooth in general, resulting in a steadier flow of music.This suggests that:
A similar dynamic may have motivated early humans to whistle or hum while they hunted or tilled and later to raise their voices in song during barn raisings and other intense physical labor.The abstract of the work:
Here we present a data set demonstrating that musical agency greatly decreases the perceived exertion during strenuous activity. We believe these findings are a major contribution to how we consider the role of music in the emergence of human societies. Furthermore, these findings are timely because they crucially help to understand the therapeutic power of music, a scientific field about to unfold. Although one would expect this workout with musical feedback (jymmin') to be a rather unconventional and dimensionally constrained (each instrument one-dimensionally regulates a musical signal) way to experience musical agency, the experience of the performers suggests an intimate entwinement of ecstatic pleasure and exertion during the performance.