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Does Music Directly Affect a Person’s Heart Rate?

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Music can have a profound effect on a person’s body, in that it may cause people to dance and move around, but does it have a direct and significant effect on a person’s heart rate if they are still? In this study, 24 high school students’ heart rates were recorded while listening to 6 selections of 6 different genres of music. The effect of different types of music was tested using heart rate monitors, data collection software, and music from free music archives. We found that music has a significant impact on heart rate. Average heart rates were significantly higher after listening to rock music, despite that selection having the slowest tempo of the six genres tested. Heart rates also significantly decreased after listening to classical music and significantly increased after listening to the subjects’ favorite musical selections. This indicates that someone may be able to decrease or increase their heart rate by simply listening to music. While significant patterns emerged, the study was limited, in that the order of the music was the same for every individual, the sample size was relatively small (n = 24), and heart rates were highly variable between subjects.
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... But significant influences have been shown only in the genres of Classical and Rock. Also, the heart rate increased significantly when listening to the subjects' favourite musical selection (Sills & Todd, 2015). Researcher Palakanis has among genres of classical, country/western, popular, Jazz/rhythm and blues, and gospel music to give the sample people in their most enjoyable music to listen. ...
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Music plays an important role in our day to day life as a source of entertainment. More importantly music can also affect the other aspects of physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing of a person. According to Western and Eastern literature, heart rate correlates with certain musical aspects including tempo, melody, and music genre. The present research studied the variation of heart rate while listening to sedative and excitative Sri Lankan folk melodies. Prashasthi and Kamath folk musical creations have been selected for this experiment. Forty-five men between the ages of 25-30 who had never studied music were used as samples in this research. The mean heart rates of the subjects have increased significantly while listening to the prashasthi song. The mean heart of the subjects three minutes after stopping the prashasthi song remained significantly increased compared to their baseline (p < 0.01). Listening to Kamath songs did not significantly change the mean heart rates of the subjects.
... Music brought about repeated requests, their analysis revealed an increase in operation time and an increase in tensions due to frustration from ineffective communication. Furthermore, listening to rock music can increase heart rate [36], but heavymetal music or techno-sounds are either ineffective or may even be dangerous while leading to stress and/or life-threatening arrhythmia [32]. Techno-music can induce physiological and neuroendocrine changes in normal subjects. ...
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Physical Activity and Health
  • Disease Centers
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. " Physical Activity and Health. " Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 20 May 2014.
Physical Activity and Blood Pressure
American Heart Association. "Physical Activity and Blood Pressure." American Heart Association. Web. 20 May 2014.