This is a really interesting article.
Another new study by researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, and detailed online in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, looked at the tempo angle differently. Instead of a mix of different songs at different tempos, they asked a group of cyclists to pedal to the same song over three different trials.
What the subjects did not know is that the researchers first played the song at normal speed, but then increased or decreased the speed of the same song by 10 percent. The small change was not enough to be noticed, but it did have an effect on performance.
Speeding up the music program increased distance covered/unit time, power and pedal cadence by 2.1 percent, 3.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Slowing the program produced falls of 3.8 percent, 9.8 percent and 5.9 percent. The researchers concluded that we increase or decrease our work effort and pace to match the tempo of our music.