2013. Vol.4, No.11A, 16-24
Published Online November 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access 16
The Psychological Well-Being, Happiness
and Life Satisfaction of Music Students
Erol Demirbatir1, Ayhan Helvaci1, Nilufer Yilmaz1,
Gulnihal Gul1, Ajda Senol1, Nazan Bilgel2
1Department of Music Education, Faculty of Education, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey
2Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey
Received August 28th, 2013; revised September 26th, 2013; accetped October 25th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Erol Demirbatir et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Studies showed that university and college students are vulnerable to mental health problems. High rates
of depression, anxiety and stress among students have generated increasing public concern in western so-
cieties, but in eastern societies this issue remains mostly undiscovered. The healing force of music has
been known since ancient times and studies showed the positive impact of music on mental health prob-
lems. However, few studies have been conducted on music students’ psychological well-being. In this
study we wanted to assess the psychological well-being of undergraduate music education students in
terms of depression, anxiety and stress as well as their happiness and life satisfaction levels. A second
objective of this study was to examine the effects of different types of classical music (baroque versus
romantic/post-romantic) on depression, anxiety and stress levels as well as on perceived happiness and
life satisfaction. A total of 69 students participated in this study, with 35 assigned to Group I (listened to
baroque music) and the other 34 assigned to Group II (listened to romantic/post-romantic classical music).
No statistically significant relationships were found between depression, anxiety and stress levels and any
of the socio-demographic characteristics that were studied. This was the same for happiness and life sat-
isfaction levels. There was, however, a significant relationship between economic status and life satisfac-
tion which was found to be positively related. A significant negative correlation was determined between
depression and happiness and between depression and life satisfaction. The difference between depression,
anxiety and stress levels as well as happiness and life satisfaction levels for Group I and Group II students
was not statistically significant.
Keywords: Depression; Anxiety; Stress; Happiness; Life Satisfaction; Students
Evidence that suggests that university and college students
are vulnerable to mental health problems has generated in-
creasing public concern in western societies (Stanley & Man-
thorpe, 2001). High rates of depression, anxiety and stress
among students all over the world in higher education have been
revealed in many previous studies (Adewuya, Ola, Olutayo,
Mapayi, & Oginni, 2006; Nerdrum, Rustøen, & Rønnestad,
2006; Ovuga, Boardman, & Wasserman, 2006; Stewart-Brown,
Evans, Patterson, Doll, Balding, & Regis, 2000; Wong, Cheung,
Chan, Ma, & Tang, 2006; Voelker, 2003). Psychological mor-
bidity among undergraduate students represents a neglected
problem and holds major implications for campus health ser-
vices and mental health policy-making (Stewart-Brown et al.,
2000; Poch, Villar, Caparros, Juan, Cornella, & Perez, 2004;
Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2007). Undergraduate students
need to cope with psychological and psychosocial changes that
are connected to the development of an autonomous personal
life and additionally they have to cope with the academic and
social demands that they encounter in university studies and in
their preparation for professional careers. Therefore, the period
of undergraduate education is regarded by many as important
for the development of systems and intervention methods that
may prevent or reduce mental health problems (Gjerde, 1993).
The healing force of music has been known since ancient
times. There are many studies about the positive impact of mu-
sic therapy in psychiatric disorders and in many other health
problems (Evans, 2002; Erkkila, Punkanen, Fachner, Ala-
Ruona, Pöntiö, Tervaniemi, Vanhala, & Gold, 2011; Rao, Na-
inis, Williams, Lanfner, Eisin, & Paice, 2009; Smolen, Topp, &
Singer, 2002; Wang, Wang, & Zang, 2011). Therefore, it can be
suggested that music students may have low levels of depres-
sion, anxiety and stress compared to other undergraduates.
However few studies have been conducted on music students in
terms of psychological well-being. Spahn, Strukely, and Leh-
mann (2004) found depression and anxiety rates among music
students to be higher than those of other undergraduates. Some
studies have assessed burnout and stress of undergraduate mu-
sic students and found high levels of burnout and stress (Bern-
hard, 2005; 2010; Orzel, 2010; Sternbach, 2008).
In Turkey, epidemiological data about psychological morbid-
ity among undergraduate students have not been researched in
depth, although some recent studies have revealed high rates of
depression, anxiety and stress and even suicidal tendencies
among university students (Aktekin, Karaman, Senol, Erdem,
Erengin & Akaydin, 2001; Arslan, Ayranci, Unsal, & Arslantas,
2009; Bayram & Bilgel, 2008; Bostanci, Ozdel, Oguzhanoglu,
Ozdel, Ergin, Ergin, Atesci, & Karadag, 2005; Ozdemir &
Rezaki, 2007). In their study of music students, Karaoglu &
Karaoglu (2009) found high rates of depression and anxiety but
no differences compared to other undergraduate students.
Another study found the mean depression, anxiety and stress
scores to be significantly higher among music education stu-
dents compared to medicine students (Demirbatir, Bayram, &
Bilgel, 2012).
The purposes of this study are:
1) To assess the depression, anxiety and stress levels as well
as the levels of happiness and life satisfaction among music
education students;
2) To examine the effects of different types of classical mu-
sic on the psychological well-being of the music education
3) To evaluate the possible effects of socio, economic and
demographic differences on mood, perceived happiness and life
4) There are many studies in the literature about psychologi-
cal well-being of students in general and about music students
in particular. Although most of these studies were performed in
western countries. The novelty of this study is it concerns data
from an eastern culture and addresses the impact of different
types of classical music (from baroque and from romantic/post
romantic era) on psychological well-being.
Materials and Methods
This study was a randomized, controlled, repeated measures
study conducted in one university in Turkey and was based on
self reporting. Figure 1 shows the summary of the workflow.
Assessed for
eligibility (n = 75)
n = 69
Excluded (n = 6):
-Previous diagnosis of major
depression (n = 3)
- Refused to participate (n = 3)
Day 1:
GROUP I (n = 35)
-Baseline demographic, social,
economic data were collected
-DASS- 42
-Life Satisfaction
-Oxford Happiness questionnaires
were completed
Day 1:
GROUP II (n = 34)
-Baseline demographic, social,
economic data were collected
-DASS- 42
-Life Satisfaction
-Oxford Happiness questionnaires
were completed
Days 2-29
GROUP I (n = 35)
Group listened to classical music
pieces from baroque period every
day for 30 minutes
Days 2-29
GROUP II (n = 34)
Group listened to classical music
pieces from romantic and post
romantic period every day for 30
Day: 30
GROUP I (n = 35)
-Major life events in the last 30
days which may have caused
depression were questioned
-DASS- 42
-Life Satisfaction
-Oxford Happiness questionnaires
were completed
Day: 30
GROUP II (n = 34)
-Major life events in the last 30
days which may have caused
depression were questioned
-DASS- 42
-Life Satisfaction
-Oxford Happiness questionnaires
were completed
Analyzed (n = 35)
Excluded from analysis (n = 0)
Analyzed (n = 34)
Excluded from analysis (n = 0)
Figure 1.
Summary of the workflow.
Open Access 17
First and second year music education students of the corre-
sponding university were the suggested study group. Inclusion
criteria were voluntary participation and not being diagnosed
with any psychological disorder. From a total of 75 students 3
refused to participate and 3 were diagnosed with major depres-
sion and were under therapy and therefore were excluded. The
remaining 69 students were assigned randomly to either Group
I or Group II each participant was given a number from 1 - 69,
and 35 unique numbers were selected from the random digits
table ranging from 1 - 69. Participants matched with the gener-
ated number were allocated to Group I and those not matched
were allocated to Group II. After the allocation and during the
study none of the participants refused to continue, so the study
was completed with a zero drop-out rate.
We used 4 different questionnaires for collecting the data.
All of them depended on self reporting.
1) Socio-demographic-economic data were collected by a
questionnaire prepared by the authors. Questions were asked
regarding age, gender, economic status (poor, moderate, good),
place of residence (together with family, in a house together
with friends, in a dormitory etc.), educational status of father
and mother (primary, secondary, high, higher education), place
of residence before university education (village, town, big
city), number of sisters and/or brothers, marital status of parents
(married, divorced, separated), satisfaction regarding their cur-
rent education (yes/no).
2) DASS-42: Depression, anxiety and stress were measured
using the 42-item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS)
developed by Lovibond & Lovibond (1995a; 1995b) and was
constructed for the Turkish language by Uncu, Bayram, &
Bilgel (2007). This instrument measures current symptoms of
depression, anxiety, and stress. Each of the three scales consists
of 14 items answered using a 0 - 3 scale, where 0 = did not
apply to me at all, and 3 = applied to me very much or most of
the time (range of possible scores for each scale is 0 - 42).
Scores considered in the normal range are 0 - 9 for depression,
0 - 7 for anxiety, and 0 - 14 for stress. Scores above these
ranges indicate the degree of the problem from mild to extreme.
The DASS-42 is a self-administered instrument with well-es-
tablished psychometric properties in clinical and non-clinical
samples, and has been shown to differentiate between the three
states of depression, anxiety and stress (Lovibond & Lovibond,
1995a; 1995b; Antony, Bieling, Cox, Enns, & Swinson, 1998;
Crawford & Henry, 2003). The depression scale assesses dys-
phoria, hopelessness, devaluation of life, self deprecation, lack
of interest or involvement, anhedonia and inertia. The anxiety
scale assesses autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situ-
ational anxiety and subjective experience on anxious effects.
The stress scale is sensitive to levels of chronic non-specific
arousal. The scale assesses difficulty relaxing, nervous arousal
and being easily upset or agitated, irritability or over-reaction
and impatience. The Turkish version of the DASS-42 has good
reliability and validity (Bayram & Bilgel, 2008; Bilgel & Bay-
ram, 2010).
3) The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: Developed by Hills
& Argyle (2002) and was constructed for the Turkish language
by Seker & Gencdogan (2006). The Turkish version showed
good reliability and validity (Dogan & Cotok, 2011). This scale
consists of 29 items answered using a 1 - 6 scale, where 1 = did
not apply to me at all, and 6 = applied to me very much or most
of the time (range of possible scores is 29 - 174). Higher scores
indicate higher levels of happiness.
4) The Satisfaction with Life Scale: Developed by Diener,
Enmors, Larger (1985) and was constructed and validated for
the Turkish language by Koker (1991). This scale consists of 5
items answered using a 1 - 7 scale, where 1 = did not apply to
me at all, and 7 = applied to me very much or most of the time
(range of possible scores is 5 - 35). Higher scores indicate
higher levels of life satisfaction.
Types of Music
A total of 28 classical music pieces from the Baroque and
romantic/post romantic periods were selected by the music
education teachers who participated in this study. They were as
For Group I (Music from the Baroque period):
1) Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G
Major, BWV 1048:
Three movements: a) no tempo indication, b) Adagio, c) Al-
legro. A charming and simply piece in Vivaldi’s concerto style.
Vibrant and fast paced work. Approximately 20:51 minutes.
2) Johann Sebastian Bach: Missa BWV 232 in B Minor.
Trinitarian movement with largely symmetrical structure and
Domine Deus in the middle:
a) Gloria in Excelsis, five part chorus (soprano I, II, Alto,
Tenor, Bass) in D Major, marked vivace 3/8 time. Approxi-
mately 5:52 minutes
b) Cum Sancto Spiritum five part chorus (soprano I, II, Alto,
Tenor, Bass) in D Major, marked vivace 3/4 time. Approxi-
mately 4:02 minutes.
3) Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata no. 147: Begins with an
elaborate chorus in C Major. The celebratory tone is established
by the fanfare like opening section for the orchestra. The vocal
parts are in fugal form with the entries staggered from the upper
register to the lowest succession and later this ordering is re-
versed when the bass voices are heard first of all in reprise.
Approximately 30:29 minutes.
4) Georg Friedrich Handel: Water Music Suite No. 1 in F
Major, HWV 348. The Overture that begins the first Water
Music Suite is in two large sections. The stately and eminently
restrained exuberance of the first and slower section, built en-
tirely out of a single ornamented pick-up gesture, finally boils
over into the vivacious, partially fugato, allegro portion of the
piece. Approximately 29:59 minutes.
5) Georg Friedrich Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks in
D Major, HWV 351. Has five movements. a) Overture. Adagio-
Allegro-Lentement b) Bourrée c) La paix. Largo alla Siciliana d)
La réjouissance. Allegro e) Minuet 1 & 2. The suite begins with
a suitably pompous and ceremonial Overture in the French style:
a slow, dotted-rhythm introduction followed by a contrapuntal
Allegro. The suite continues with a lively Bourée, a quieter
movement entitled “La paix”, the ebullient “La réjouissance”,
and a final Minuet. A second Minuet, in D minor, which seems
to have been added later, was probably used by the composer as
a trio section before a final triumphant return to the main Min-
uet in D major. Approximately 19:17 minutes.
6) Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No I in E Major, op. 8 no. 1
RV 269. Allegro-Largo e pianissimo sempre danza pastorale.
Open Access
Approximately 10:38 minutes.
7) Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No II in G Minor, op. 8 no. 2
RV 315. Allegro non molto, adagio presto, tempo impetuoso
d’estate. Approximately 10:00 minutes.
8) Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No III in F Major, op. 8 no. 3
RV 257. Allegro-Adagio-Allegro (La Caccia). Approximately
11:09 minutes.
9) Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto No IV in F Minor, op. 8 no. 4
RV 297. Allegro non molto-Largo-Allegro. Approximately 08:
30 minutes.
10) Antonio Vivaldi: Flute Concerto in D Major. RV 428
11) Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for strings and violoncello
“Alla Breve”
12) Georg Philip Telemann. Suite in E Minor for 2 flutes,
strings and basso continuo, TWV55 Overture. Approximately
08:55 minutes. Rejouissance. Approximately 04:15 minutes.
13) Georg Philip Telemann. Concerto in A Major for flute,
violin, cello and strings Allegro. Approximately 06:06 minutes
14). Domenico Scarlatti: Sonata for the Harpsichord in A
Major K208. Broad melodic movement, regular rhythm, soft
and sonorous resonance. Approximately 04:01 minutes.
For Group II (Music from the Romantic and Post-Romantic
1) Igor Stravinsky: Inferno Dance from Firebird Ballet. Stra-
vinsky created non-diatonic melodies based on dissonant inter-
vals such as the tritone. The magical sound of glissando har-
monics, explosive dynamics and ferocious rhythmic syncopa-
tions and malevolent non-diatonic intervals in the melodic line.
The scale contains alternating tones and semi-tones and that can
be broken down into two diminished 7ths. Stravinsky’s music
could be described with words such as staccato, detached,
pointed, fierce, deliberate and exaggerated. Approximately 8:30
2) Igor Stravinsky: Symphony in C. Is a retreat into the “pure
music” styles of Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn and a work of the
Stravinsky’s neo-classical period. Regarding its style, Stravin-
sky acknowledged a division of the symphony into halves. The
first two movements, composed in Europe, use more traditional
rhythmic patterns and harmonization. The last two movements
use frequent modulations of rhythm and are much more chro-
a) Moderato alla breve. Approximately 9:00 minutes.
b) Larghetto (concertante). Approximately 6:00 minutes.
3) Igor Stravinsky: Les Noches, (The Wedding) is a dance
cantata, or ballet with vocalists and one of Stravinsky’s most
relentlessly intense and slamming’ pieces. Scoring: soprano,
mezzo-soprano, tenor, and bass soloists, mixed chorus, and two
groups of percussion instruments–pitched percussion, including
four pianos, and unpitched percussion. Approximately 22:00
4) Dmitri Shostakovich: The Symphony No. 5 in D minor,
Op. 47. Deep, meaningful, gripping music. Effectively he had
mastered the essence of the Romantic symphony giving the
audience an outlet for their sorrow. During the first perform-
ance of the symphony, people were reported to have wept dur-
ing the Largo movement. The music has an atmosphere of
mourning, contained echoes of the panikhida, the Russian Or-
thodox requiem. The use of the tremolo in the strings is an ex-
pression of immeasurable grief. The symphony is approxi-
mately 45 minutes in length and has four movements: Moderato,
allegretto, largo and allegro non troppo.
5) Dmitri Shostakovich: The Golden Age Op. 22, is a ballet
in 3 acts, 6 scenes. Shostakovich extracted a suite from the
ballet, Op. 22a. It has four movements: Introduction (Allegro
non troppo)-Adagio-Polka (Allegretto)-Dance.
6) Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 2 in B major, Op. 14
To October”, was composed for the 10th anniversary of the
October Revolution as gestural, geometric music without emo-
tional structure, with the intent of reflecting speech patterns and
physical movements in a neo-realistic style. It has one move-
ment with four sections, the last of which includes a chorus
praising Lenin and the revolution. Approximately 20:00 min-
7) Dmitri Shostakovich: Quarter Note = 152. A meditative
episode which Shostakovich described as the death of a child
killed on the Nevsky Prospect.
8) Modest Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain. A
symphonic poem, dreadfully haunting, a dark piece of music
opens with an allegro feroce, with a turbulent figure in the
strings against which the trombones, tuba, and bassoons thun-
der the theme. The dance is saturated with Russian folk idiom
and appears in strongly marked rhythms in the oboes and clari-
nets, presenting an effective contrast to the opening theme. The
allegro feroce of the opening returns, the brass weaving its
theme against rapid chromatic passages in woodwinds and
strings. A new dance theme appears, at first in fairly slow
tempo, but gradually working up to a frenzied climax. The bell
tolls mournfully six times. Strings and harp announce the com-
ing of dawn. Approximately 10:14 minutes.
9) Modest Mussorgsky: The Seamstress scherzino for piano.
Approximately 2:42 minutes.
10) Modest Mussorgsky: Intermezzo in modo classico.
Mussorgsky’s best and most characteristic piece for the piano.
The work was composed in the winter of 1861, while Mus-
sorgsky was still living in the country after a nervous break-
down. Mussorgsky orchestrated the work in 1867, giving it the
title intermezzo symphonique in modo classico. Approximately
7:10 minutes.
11) Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No: 2 in C Minor
Op. 18. A concerto for piano with three movements. Moderato
(C Minor)—Adagio sostenuto—Pui animato (C Minor—E
Major)—Allegro scherzando (E Major—C Minor—C Major).
The Second Piano Concerto is a beautiful piece of music, full of
romantic passion and sublime melody. Rachmaninoff com-
posed this concerto after a nervous breakdown caused by the
disastrous premiere of his First Symphony. He was nursed back
to health by psychiatrist Nikolai Dahl, and dedicated the second
Concerto to Dr. Dahl. The concerto contains poetic melancholy
melodies, rich orchestration, well-balanced between piano and
orchestra. The first movement is in sonata-allegro form. The
opening movement begins with a series of bell-like tolling on
the piano that builds tension which lead to the portentous initial
theme, swept through powerfully by the orchestra. In this first
section, the orchestra carries the Russian-character melody
while the piano makes an accompaniment made of rapid oscil-
lating arpeggios. The second theme is lyric. Motives from both
themes, very often changing keys and giving the melody to
different instruments gives an agitated and unstable develop-
ment. While the orchestra plays the main theme, the piano has
an accompaniment role with a march-like theme. This is fol-
lowed by a piano solo, which leads into a descending chromatic
passage and concludes with an eerie French horn solo. The
second movement is in nocturne like form and opens with a
series of slow chords on the strings. The piano enters, playing a
Open Access 19
simple arpeggiated figure. The main theme is initially intro-
duced by the flute, followed by an extensive clarinet solo. The
third movement is in a playful and lively mood and opens with
a short orchestral introduction followed by a piano solo leading
to the statement of the agitated first theme. Afterwards a lyrical
theme is introduced by the oboe and violas with the motif of the
first movement’s second theme. Near the end, the second theme
is played in fortissimo orchestration and the concerto ends with
a fast, ecstatic coda. Approximately 35:00 minutes.
12) Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op.
27. Has four movements Largo-Allegro moderato (E minor),
Allegro molto (A minor), Adagio (A major), and Allegro vi-
vace (E major). The symphony is composed with a dramatic
sequence of Russian symphonic tradition. The main motif is an
unending and beautiful flow of the melody. Approximately
60:52 minutes
13) Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46. The suite
opens with a piece called “Morning Mood” built on a static
harmonic background that effectively emulates the stillness of
the first moments of dawn which is announced by the flutes,
and oboes. Harmonic inflections and bright flute trills join to
the music at the end of this section. “Aeses Death” one tiny
melodic fragment, an absolutely unchanging rhythm followed
by “Anitras Dance” after a single, magical E major chord.
Anitra’s Dance is a violin melody over a compelling pizzicato
background with harmonic changes. The last piece of the suite
is “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, which is built on just one
small, repetitive thematic fragment that grows wilder and
wilder like a whirlwind. Approximately 14:18 minutes
14) Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 16. The
concerto is in three movements: Allegro molto moderato (A
minor), Adagio (D flat major), Allegro moderato molto e mar-
cato-Quasi presto-Andante maestoso (A minor-F major-A mi-
nor-A major). The first movement is in the sonata form. Begins
with tympani roll and is followed by dramatic piano flourish.
The movement ends with a virtuosic cadenza and a similar
flourish as at the beginning. The opening flourish is based
around the motif of a falling minor second followed by a falling
major third, which is typical for the folk music of Norway. The
second movement is lyrical and leads directly to the third
movement. The third movement opens with an energetic theme
and is followed by a lyric one. The movement concludes with
the Andante maestoso in A Major. In the last movement of the
concerto, similarities to a Norwegian folk dance and imitations
of the Norwegian folk fiddle can be heard. Approximately
28:00 minutes.
This study was conducted at the very beginning of the aca-
demic year in order to exclude the possible anxiety and stress of
exams and academic achievement. On the first day of the study,
the students in both groups filled out a socio-demographic
questionnaire, DASS-42, Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and
Satisfaction with Life Scale. The previously validated Turkish
versions of all scales were used. 69 different numbers with four
digits were written separately on pieces of papers and put into a
box. Every participant took a piece of paper from this box and
wrote the number on the paper at the top of the questionnaire
and scales that she/he filled out. The students were told to keep
the piece of paper in a safe place and not to lose it otherwise
she or he would be excluded from the study. We did not collect
identification information. From the 2nd to the 29th day of the
study, every day for 30 minutes, the participants listened to
music pieces (which are described in detail above) as per their
allocated groups. The selected music pieces were played at a
comfortable volume from commercial compact disc recordings
over a high quality amplifier and loudspeakers. On the last day
of the study, the participants were asked if they had experi-
enced a major life event since the beginning of the study. These
were accepted as the loss of or newly diagnosed serious illness
of a first degree family member (parents, sisters/brothers,
grandparents, uncles or aunts) or for the participant being di-
agnosed with a serious illness. None of the participants reported
such an event. The data were again collected using the DASS-
42, Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and Satisfaction with Life
Scale and the participants were asked to write the same number
at the top of the printed scales which they had used on the first
day of the study. Every student participated in the music listen-
ing sessions, filled out the scales properly with their numbers at
the top and during the study period nobody experienced a major
life event. Therefore the drop-out rate was zero.
Analysis of the collected data was performed using the SPSS
package program. Besides descriptive analyses, student t-test,
Mann Whitney U Sign Ranks test, Wilcoxon sign test,
Kruskall-Wallis variance analysis and linear regression analysis
were conducted.
Results for the Whole Study Group (N = 69)
Socio-Demographic Characteristics
Of the 69 participants, 36 (52.2%) were first year students
and 33 (47.8%) were second year students. The students were
46 females (66.7%) and 23 males (33.3%) with a mean age of
19.2 ± 1.5 years (range 17 - 24 years). Distribution of the par-
ticipants according to their parents’ educational status is shown
in Table 1.
Most of the participants’ mothers were housewives (55.1%)
and 4.3% of the participants’ fathers were unemployed. Ac-
cording to the economic status of their families, the participants
assessed their economic status as follows: 26.0% good, 55.1%
moderate, and 18.8% poor. Most of the participants (68.1%)
had one sister/brother, 89.9% of the students mentioned that
their parents were alive and 82.6% said that their parents were
still married. Those who were living at home together with their
family members were 40.5%, whereas 33.3% were living in
Table 1.
Educational status of parents
Mother Father
N % N %
Primary (ISCED level 1) 21 30.4 12 17.4
Secondary (ISCED level 2) 12 17.4 4 5.8
High School (ISCED level 3) 16 23.2 28 40.6
University (ISCED level 6) 20 29.0 25 36.2
Note: ISCED = International Standard Classification of Education 2011. Avai-
lable at:
Open Access
dormitories, and 26.1% were living in a house together with
friends. Regarding their residential place before university, the
participants answers were as follows: 55.2% big city, 21.7%
city, 21.7% small town and 1.4% village. 89.9% of the partici-
pants were satisfied with their current education.
Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scores
The mean depression, anxiety and stress scores at the begin-
ning and end of the study are shown in Table 2.
Paired t-tests were performed in order to assess the differ-
ence between the first and last day measurements and no statis-
tically significant difference was determined.
Distribution of participants according to their depression,
anxiety and stress levels measured on the first and last day of
the study is shown in Table 3.
No statistically significant relationships were found in terms
of studied socio-demographic characteristics of the participants
and their depression, anxiety and stress status.
Happiness and Life Satisfaction Scores
The mean happiness and life satisfaction scores at the begin-
ning and end of the study are shown in Table 4.
The range of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is 29 - 174
Table 2.
Mean depression, anxiety and stress scores on the 1st and last days of
the study.
First Last
Min-Max Values 0 - 27 0 - 35
Mean ± SE 8.9 ± .8 9.3 ± .9
First Last
Min-Max Values 0 - 28 0 - 31
Mean ± SE 10.1 ± .7 10.0 ± .9
First Last
Min-Max Values 0 - 35 1 - 36
Mean ± SE 15.7 ± .9 16.8 ± 1.1
Table 3.
Percent distribution of the participants regarding depression, anxiety
and stress levels on the 1st and last days of the study.
Depression Anxiety Stress
First Last First Last First Last
Normal 60.9 60.9 42.0 43.5 46.4 44.9
Mild 14.5 13.0 11.6 13.0 20.3 13.0
Moderate 17.4 14.5 21.7 20.3 24.6 24.6
Severe + Extremely
Severe 7.2 11.624.7 23.2 8.7 17.5
Table 4.
Mean happiness and life satisfaction scores on the 1st and last days of
the study.
Oxford Happiness Score Life Satisfaction Score
First Last First Last
Values 59 - 162 71 - 158 8 - 35 6 - 35
Mean ± SE114.3 ± 2.4113.3 ± 2.1 22.3 ± .8 21.6 ± .8
points. In this study students scored approximately 113 - 114
points indicating a moderate level of happiness. No statistically
significant difference was found between the first and last
measurements of happiness score and no significant relation-
ships were determined between the happiness score and studied
socio-demographic characteristics of the students.
The range of Satisfaction with Life Scale is 5 - 35 points. In
this study students scored approximately 21 - 22 points indi-
cating a moderate level of life satisfaction. No statistically sig-
nificant difference was found between the first and last meas-
urements of life satisfaction score. Except for economic status
there were no significant relationships between the life satisfac-
tion score and other socio-demographic characteristics of the
students. The relationship between economic status and life
satisfaction is shown in Table 5.
Students who reported that they had a good or moderate
economic status scored higher life satisfaction scores than those
in poor economic status in both of the measurements.
The Relationship betwee n DASS-42, Oxford Happiness and
Satisfaction with Life Scores
Linear regression analysis was performed to assess the rela-
tionship between DASS-42 and Oxford Happiness Scale as
well as between DASS-42 and Satisfaction with Life Scale
scores separately for both of the measurements on the first and
last days of the study. The results are shown in Tables 6 and 7.
For both of the measurements, the anxiety and stress scores
were not significantly correlated to happiness scores. A nega-
tive significant correlation was determined between depression
and happiness scores.
For both of the measurements, the anxiety and stress scores
were not significantly correlated to life satisfaction scores. A
negative significant correlation was determined between de-
pression and life satisfaction scores.
The Effect of Different Types of Classical Music on
DASS-42, Oxford Happiness and Satisfaction with Life
Group I students listened to Baroque classical music and
Group II students listened to romantic/post romantic classical
music pieces. Table 8 shows the mean scores of DASS-42,
Oxford Happiness and Satisfaction with Life Scales on the first
and last measurements for both groups.
The difference between the first scores of all the scales for
Group I and Group II students were assessed by the Mann
Whitney U test and were not found to be statistically significant.
Similar results were obtained for the last scores. This means
that the depression, anxiety, stress, happiness and life satisfac-
tion status of the students in Groups I and II are no different
from each other.
Open Access 21
Table 5.
Economic status and Life Satisfaction Scores.
Life Satisfaction Scores (Mean ± SE)
Economic Status
First Last
Good 26.3 ± 1.4 25.0 ± 1.7
Moderate 21.6 ± 1.0 21.3 ± .8
Poor 18.7 ± 1.5 17.8 ± 1.9
Note: Kruskall Wallis Variance Analysis: 1) Measurement 2 = 11.3, df = 2, p
= .004, 2) Measurement 2 = 10.2, df = 2, p = .006.
Table 6.
Linear Regression of Students’ DASS-42 and Oxford Happiness Ques-
tionnaire Scores.
B Std ErrorBeta t p
First day
Depression 2.165 .362 .710 5.978 .000
Anxiety .276 .457 .084 .605 .547
Stress .152 .380 .057 .401 .690
R = .697; R2 = .486
Last day
Depression 1.309 .297 .606 4.407 .000
Anxiety .223 .336 .098 .663 .509
Stress .060 .328 .030 .184 .855
R = .700; R2 = .490
Note: Dependent variable: Oxford Happiness Questionnaire Score.
Table 7.
Linear Regression of Students’ DASS-42 and Satisfaction with Life
Scale Scores.
B Std ErrorBeta t p
First day
Depression .696 .130 .713 5.357 .000
Anxiety .153 .164 .145 .932 .355
Stress .071 .136 .084 .528 .600
R = .595; R2 = .354
Last day
Depression .465 .126 .598 3.684 .000
Anxiety .196 .143 .239 1.370 .175
Stress .080 .140 .111 .573 .568
R = .538; R2 = .289
Note: Dependent variable: Satisfaction with Life Score.
The difference between the first and last scores for all the
scales within Group I and Group II were assessed by the Wil-
coxon Signed Ranks Test and were not found to be statistically
significant. This means that the different types of music had no
effect on students’ depression, anxiety, stress, happiness and
life satisfaction status.
A study of university students in Canada indicated that stu-
dents with a higher socio-economic status were more satisfied
with life (Chow, 2005). Another study showed that financial
behaviors and financial satisfaction, along with academic per-
formance and satisfaction, contribute to the life satisfaction of
college students (Xiao, Tang, & Shim, 2009). According to
another study of college students, financial status is the single
most important factor for satisfaction with life in general
(Lackland Sam, 2001). In terms of life satisfaction and eco-
nomic status the results of the current study are similar to many
other studies on this subject. In this study, the life satisfaction
score was found to be 22.3 ± .8 and 21.6 ± .8 for the first and
last measurements respectively. This finding is in line with the
life satisfaction scores of other studies of Turkish university
students (Gundogan, Sallan Gul, Uskun, Demirci, & Kececi,
2007; Yetim, 2003).
In this study the mean Oxford Happiness scores varied from
114.3 ± 2.4 to 113.3 ± 2.1 for the first and last measurements
respectively. A recent study of 1038 Turkish university students
found the mean Oxford happiness score to be 119.92 ± .61. It
can be said that the group of students in the current study had
significantly lower scores in terms of happiness than those of
the previous student group (Dogan & Sapmaz, 2012). This
difference may be due to the higher levels of depression among
our study group hence the relationship between depression and
happiness was found to be statistically significant.
The second part of this study aimed to assess the effects of
the type of music listened to (Baroque or romantic/post roman-
tic) on depression, anxiety, stress as well as on happiness and
life satisfaction. No significant differences were found between
the two groups in terms of the studied parameters of Baroque
classical music and romantic/post romantic classical music.
Music therapy as an important means of intervention on de-
pression, has been shown to be effective in reducing depressive
mood (Erkkila et al., 2011; Smolen, Topp, & Singer, 2002). The
impact of music on arousal and mood has been well-established
in previous studies (Sloboda & Juslin, 2001; Gabrielson, 2001;
Husain, Thompson, & Schellenberg, 2002). Husain, Thompson
& Schellenberg (2002) asked their participants to complete a
spatial test after listening to slow, sad-sounding music (Albi-
noni’s Adagio) or to an up-tempo, happy-sounding piece (Mo-
zart sonata K.448, First Movement). Those who listened to
Mozart’s sonata exhibited higher levels of arousal and more
positive moods than their counterparts who listened to Albi-
noni’s Adagio. In the same study the main effect of key was
evaluated and the first movement of Mozart’s sonata K. 448
which is originally in D Major was converted to D Minor. Par-
ticipants who heard the piece in the major key had above-av-
erage improvements in mood after listening to the music,
whereas those who heard the minor key version had below-
average improvements. In other words mood improved after
listening to the piece in a major key, but it declined or remained
unchanged in a minor key (Husain, Thompson, & Schellenberg,
2002). In the current study, different types of classical music
which were also in different keys (major or minor) seemed not
Open Access
Open Access 23
Table 8.
DASS-42, Oxford Happiness and Satisfaction with Life Scale scores of Group I and Group II.
Group I: Baroque Music Group II: Romantic/Post Romantic Music
First Score Last Score First Score Last Score
Depression 9.43 ± 1.20 10.23 ± 1.46 8.26 ± 1.06 8.32 ± 1.34
Anxiety 10.82 ± 1.12 11.40 ± 1.52 9.32 ± .97 8.59 ± 1.07
Stress 15.57 ± 1.37 15.71 ± 1.61 15.8 ± 1.24 15.53 ± 1.21
Oxford Happiness 113.1 ± 3.29 111.9 ± 3.05 115.3 ± 3.6 114.7 ± 3.04
Life Satisfaction 22.34 ± 1.07 21.46 ± 1.11 22.18 ± 1.2 21.79 ± 1.09
to affect mood. This may be due to the familiarity of the music
education students with the music as our study group studied
music and they listened to and played music in their daily prac-
The results of our study suggest that music education stu-
dents are at risk of depression, anxiety and stress. Their life
satisfaction levels are similar to other students whereas their
happiness levels are lower. Their economic status has an im-
portant impact on their life satisfaction but not on their happi-
ness levels. The intervention of listening to different types of
classical music for a period of four weeks for 30 minutes per
day had no impact on their psychological well-being. Growing
awareness of health issues is a fairly recent development among
musicians and music teachers in Turkey. A branch of medicine
dealing with the performing arts should be established in order
to reduce both physical and psychological injuries in perform-
ing artists, students and teachers. Institutions should assist stu-
dents to acquire knowledge from qualified professionals and
authoritative medical sources regarding the maintenance of
professional health and the prevention of injuries or disorders.
The authors express their thanks to Mrs. Caroline J. Walker
for her support in proofreading and editing the English lan-
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