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Music and the heart


Koelsch, Stefan; Jäncke, Lutz (2015). Music and the heart. European Heart Journal, 36(44):3043-3049.

Abstract

.Music can powerfully evoke and modulate emotions and moods, along with changes in heart activity, blood pressure (BP), and breathing. Although there is great heterogeneity in methods and quality among previous studies on effects of music on the heart, the following findings emerge from the literature: Heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) are higher in response to exciting music compared with tranquilizing music. During musical frissons (involving shivers and piloerection), both HR and RR increase. Moreover, HR and RR tend to increase in response to music compared with silence, and HR appears to decrease in response to unpleasant music compared with pleasant music. We found no studies that would provide evidence for entrainment of HR to musical beats. Corresponding to the increase in HR, listening to exciting music (compared with tranquilizing music) is associated with a reduction of heart rate variability (HRV), including reductions of both low-frequency and high-frequency power of the HRV. Recent findings also suggest effects of music-evoked emotions on regional activity of the heart, as reflected in electrocardiogram amplitude patterns. In patients with heart disease (similar to other patient groups), music can reduce pain and anxiety, associated with lower HR and lower BP. In general, effects of music on the heart are small, and there is great inhomogeneity among studies with regard to methods, findings, and quality. Therefore, there is urgent need for systematic high-quality research on the effects of music on the heart, and on the beneficial effects of music in clinical settings.

Abstract

.Music can powerfully evoke and modulate emotions and moods, along with changes in heart activity, blood pressure (BP), and breathing. Although there is great heterogeneity in methods and quality among previous studies on effects of music on the heart, the following findings emerge from the literature: Heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) are higher in response to exciting music compared with tranquilizing music. During musical frissons (involving shivers and piloerection), both HR and RR increase. Moreover, HR and RR tend to increase in response to music compared with silence, and HR appears to decrease in response to unpleasant music compared with pleasant music. We found no studies that would provide evidence for entrainment of HR to musical beats. Corresponding to the increase in HR, listening to exciting music (compared with tranquilizing music) is associated with a reduction of heart rate variability (HRV), including reductions of both low-frequency and high-frequency power of the HRV. Recent findings also suggest effects of music-evoked emotions on regional activity of the heart, as reflected in electrocardiogram amplitude patterns. In patients with heart disease (similar to other patient groups), music can reduce pain and anxiety, associated with lower HR and lower BP. In general, effects of music on the heart are small, and there is great inhomogeneity among studies with regard to methods, findings, and quality. Therefore, there is urgent need for systematic high-quality research on the effects of music on the heart, and on the beneficial effects of music in clinical settings.

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8 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:9 September 2015
Deposited On:16 Sep 2015 11:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:24
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0195-668X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehv430
PubMed ID:26354957

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