Music has a powerful effect on life. It has been shown to affect human beings, animals, and even plants. It is difficult to imagine life without music. It becomes a part of who we are, physically, mentally and even spiritually in a unique way. That being the case, it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise to learn that research shows that the music we listen to influences the rate at which our hearts beat. That is more than just an interesting fact; it can have a real effect on the connection between mind and body.
What genre of music do you like to listen to? Do you enjoy the soothing and harmonious strains of classical music, like the music of Schubert? The quicksilver jazz of Charlie Parker? The soaring notes and emotions of one of Wagner’s operas? The boisterous and colorful rock of a band like Queen? The next time you decide what to download from iTunes consider how it will change your heart beat.
A study at the University of Pavia, Italy showed that music with “rich” musical phrases (ones more than 10 seconds long), like those in arias by Verdi, cause the heart and other parts of the cardiovascular system to synchronize. Likewise, music that has loud crescendos, such as Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, leads to a proportional constriction of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure, heart rate as well as respiration.
This evidence of how music changes our heartbeat and affects our cardiovascular system has some interesting real-life implications. You can actively use the type of music you are listening to when you need to speed up your heart rate and get pumped up. Useful for working out and getting yourself going when you are tired but still have work to do. You can use slower, more instrumental music when you want to calm your mind and body before sleeping or when you are meditating or praying. You can enhance many of life’s special moments with the right music. Some doctors even think that music that changes heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and brainwaves can even be useful in treating victims of heart attacks and stroke. So, turn your heartbeat around with music!