Cardiovascular and breathing rates consistently fall into step with musical crescendos and rhythms, according to a controlled clinical trial that may give impetus to new musical therapies.
Contrary to the conventional view of music as an intensely personal medium, researchers found that the same piece of music had similar cardiovascular effects on all subjects.
From "Medical News: Music Keeps Rhythm for Heart and Lungs - in Cardiovascular, Arrhythmias" - MedPage Today.
Fascinating. Note the music played that evoked a subconscious autonomic response was mostly of the classical bent.
The study is interesting for several reasons - first, it was a very small one (24 participants) with a young average age (25). Also, all the participants were white, and half were experienced choir singers.
Winning song? Puccini's "Nessun dorma," which showed "progressive arousal during crescendos." PS - guys. Download it on iTunes forthwith.
Even more fascinating: "Two Verdi arias have rhythmic "phrases" timed close to the circulatory oscillation frequency -- Mayer waves of blood pressure -- of six cycles per minute."
Those of us who select workout tracks based on our footfalls running, cycling pedal revolutions, or heart rates will find this research intuitive.
Nice to see someone started to look at the frequency/nervous system response in such detail.