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eISSN: 1643-3750

Music and medical research

Andreas Otte, Rudi A. Dierckx

Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(8): LE15-16

ID: 11745

Available online: 2004-08-01

Published: 2004-08-01

Dear Editor,
Investigations of the effects of music on man are a trendy new field which could apply to future research supported by devices of various medical disciplines. In this context, we were intrigued by the article from Stefano et al. [1] on the effects of music on listeners resulting in exhibition of plasma signal molecule changes which are consistent with the physiological changes associated with the known actions of music, as for example, reduction of blood pressure, decrease of heart rate, and sense of well-being.
In the study [1], the examined participants were listening to the music of their preferred genre, which was classical music (J.S. Bach). From a musical point of view, it would be interesting which titles from the chosen CD “Bach: for relaxation” were taken. It also would be interesting to look if there is a difference between classical music intended for relaxation (as taken in this study) and classical music which is dramatic, e.g, Richard Wagner’s “Walküre” or Franz Schubert’s “Erlkönig”. Furthermore, we would be interested to know if there is a difference in listeners to music of their genre compared to listeners to music of not their genre (e.g, classical music listeners listening to heavy metal music or vice versa). We understand this will be a stress factor for the according groups, which should be indirectly shown by the expressed opiate and cytokine processes in listeners as opposed to controls.
1. Stefano GB, Zhu W, Cadet P et al: Music alters constitutively expressed opiate and cytokine processes in listeners. Med Sci Monit, 2004; 10: 18–27
2. Perry DW, Zatorre RJ, Petrides M et al: Localization of cerebral activity during simple singing. Neuroreport, 1999; 10: 3979–84
3. Zatorre RJ, Perry DW, Beckett CA et al: Functional anatomy of musical processing in listeners with absolute pitch and relative pitch. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1998; 95: 3172–77

Keywords: Biomedical Research, Music Therapy, Positron-Emission Tomography, Relaxation - physiology, Relaxation - psychology, Biomedical Research, Music Therapy, Positron-Emission Tomography, Relaxation - psychology