16 November, 2015    #63

Taylor Swift May Lower BP

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A new study finds that some types of operas and classical music are perfectly synchronous with the natural rhythm of the body, and thus can help reduce blood pressure. Cardiologists find the research promising and may encourage their patients to listen to music.

The study was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester and took more than 20 years to complete. The research team led by Professor Peter Sleight, a cardiologist from the University of Oxford, asked study participants to listen to music of different genres.  They then monitored participants’ blood pressure and heart rate.  

The slow music included "Va Pensiero" by Verdi, the aria "Nessun Dorma" from the opera Turnadot and Beethoven'sSymphony No.9” adagio.  Indian sitar music, Vivaldi's “Four Seasons, and a recording from the Red Hot Chili Peppers were also played.

The researchers found that the music compositions by Verdi with recurrent 10-second rhythms are flawlessly in sync with the natural changes in blood pressure and subsequently decrease the heart rate. Vivaldi's piece did not cause any effects in the blood pressure and heart rate, while the song from the Red Hot Chili Peppers elevated the heart rate of the participants.

The responses of participants in all the songs were similar, thus indicating that music that relaxes individuals does not depend on whether the piece has a calm or upbeat melody.

Music is already being used commercially as a calming therapy, but this has happened independent of controlled studies into its effectiveness, Sleight says.  "Our research has provided improved understanding as to how music, particularly certain rhythms, can affect your heart and blood vessels".

"We know that stress can play a role in cardiovascular disease so the calming effect of music may have some potential as a therapy," says Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation. "However, as Professor Sleight points out, more robust evidence is needed before we see cardiologists prescribing a dose of Taylor Swift or 30 minutes of Verdi a day."

Try Mozart or Brubeck!


Mike Kohut, President, DDMS




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