Does music affect the heart rate?


Recent scientific research suggests that music can influence a persons relaxation, and have a positive impact on a persons heart rhythms. A study that was published in “Heart”, a British Medical Journal publication investigated the effects of a variety of musical genres ranging from techno and reggae to classical.

Tempo and the human body

It was found that music with a faster tempo can cause:

  • Increased breathing rate

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased blood pressure

When the music with a fast tempo was paused, the following effects were noticed, with some falling below the beginning rate:

  • Slower breathing rate

  • Slower heart rate

  • Lower blood pressure

Slower music seemed to have an opposite effect to the fast music with a significant fall in heart rate. Reggae caused the largest decline in the heart rate.

It seems that the style of music does not have as much of an effect on the human body as the tempo and pace of the music does.

Music Therapy

Even before science research verified that music can be used to influence the human body, it has been used as a form of therapy. Music therapy is a healthcare profession that uses the effects of music to improve the social, cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of a person. There are many claims made that it can :

  • Promote wellness

  • Manage stress

  • Alleviate pain

  • Express feelings

  • Enhance memory

  • Improve communication

  • Promote physical rehabilitation.

Does music affect the heart rate?

So does music affect the heart rate? Yes. The music tempo effects our heart rate and music has many positive effects on the human body.

Published: 7 January 2005

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