Abstract: The purpose of the present paper was to review the literature to develop an understanding of the effects of noise and music on human performance. The second purpose was to study the effects of music on a commonly performed task that is frequently accompanied by background music: driving. Background noise not only affects public health, but it also negatively affects human performance in such tasks as comprehension, attention, and vigilance. However, some studies have indicated that noise exposure may not affect simple vigilance. Despite music's distinct difference from noise it too affects human performance negatively and positively. The results are inconclusive on the effects of music and task performance. More specifically, the effects of music on driving performance are quite similar to that of noise on task performance. Music seems to alleviate driver stress and mild aggression while at times facilitating performance. However, during other conditions of music, driving performance is impaired. Different aspects of sound (i.e. volume, type, tempo) impact human performance differently. It is still unknown which aspect (music or noise) affects task performance to a greater degree.