Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageWant to lower your blood pressure? Listen to Mozart

By Tim Sandle     Jun 25, 2016 in Health
New research indicates that listening to Mozart is as effective in lowering blood pressure as reducing salt intake from your diet.
Researchers from Germany assessed the effect of listening to music on people's blood pressure, and made comparisons to other, more established, means to lower blood pressure such as dietary changes (reducing salt levels) and exercise.
For the study, the Ruhr University scientists played Mozart’s Symphony No 40 in g minor, dances by Johann Strauss and songs by 1970s Swedish pop group ABBA, to 60 volunteers. As they played the sweet sounds, the researchers monitored the systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels of each participant before and after the music was played. With these readings, systolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts); whereas diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood.)
The small study showed:
Mozart lowered systolic blood pressure by 4.7 mm Hg,
Strauss 3.7 mm Hg,
ABBA made no significant difference.
Of interest, reducing salt by 6 grams per day has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by between 7 and 4 mm Hg.
The findings, as might be expected, created a buzz on social media. On hearing the news, London's The Royal Opera (@TheRoyalOpera) tweeted: "Didn't need an excuse to listen to Mozart..." Health experts @BMUKHealth (@BMUKHealth) messaged: "Stressed out by your commute? Mozart or Strauss is the answer – now scientifically shown to lower blood pressure."
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, lead researcher Dr. Hans-Joachim Trappe said: "In our study, listening to classical music resulted in lowered blood pressure and heart rate. These drops in blood pressure were clearly expressed for the music of Mozart and Strauss"
Switching to the pop music, he added: “the music of ABBA did not show any or only very small effects on blood pressure and heart rate. This may be due to emotional factors, but on the other hand the use of spoken words may have a negative role.
This is one of these science studies that needs to be considered in context. Yes, music can help to lower blood pressure by making people feel more relaxed and this particular form of relaxation may be more effective than another. It doesn't mean it's OK to sprinkle extra salt onto your food or to engage in other less healthy practices. Further research would be needed to support the findings made in this small study.
The findings are published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International, with the study titled: "The Cardiovascular Effect of Musical Genres."
More about Blood pressure, Mozart, Music, Salt
More news from