Study: People’s Hearts React Differently to Same Music

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A new study suggests that a piece of music can affect people's hearts differently. Past studies usually focused on changes in heart rate after participants listened to various musical pieces categorized as happy, sad, violent, or calm. However, the current research, which is a preliminary study, took a different approach by zeroing in on one type of music and observing how the heart responds to changes in volume, tempo, or rhythm. For the study, the researchers had three patients with mild heart conditions attend a classical piano concert. Each of the patients wore a pacemaker, a small medical device used to monitor and control one’s heartbeat. During the performance, the researchers observed the electrical activity of the participants' hearts through the device. In particular, the team measured the heart’s recovery time from a fast heartbeat to a normal rate. Findings revealed that the heart’s recovery time at a specific point in the music may vary significantly from one person to another. According to one of the researchers, a transition from soft to loud music may be stressful to some people, giving them a reduced heart recovery time. However, others may find it soothing, and this results in a longer heart recovery time. With their vital findings on the unique impact of music on every person's heart, the researchers believe that they can develop individualized music treatments for common heart conditions. According to them, such treatments may be used to reduce a person’s risk of heart disorders without medication. To verify their findings, the researchers decided to conduct additional tests with more participants.

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