Classical music has been known to calm the mind and body. Now, a study from the University Bochum in Germany shows that the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss II are particularly efficacious in reducing blood lipid concentration, blood pressure and heart rate.
However, the same benefits were not seen in people who listened to other types of music. Those who listened to the music of the famous Swedish group ABBA did not experience decreased blood pressure or heart rate.
''It has been known for centuries that music has an effect on human beings,'' state the study authors in their study published in latest issue of the German journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. ''In antiquity, music was used to improve performance in athletes during the Olympic Games.''
The study involved 120 individuals. The research team grouped them into three. Their cortisol concentration, blood pressure and heart rate were recorded before listening to music or spending the time in silence.
One group was listening to Mozart or Johann Strauss Jr, another was listening to ABBA. The 60 people left were included in the control group who did not listen to music but spent the time during the study in silence.
The team found that the music of Mozart and Strauss decreased a listener's blood pressure and heart rate. Those who listened to ABBA did not experience the same results.
Although those who spent their time in silence also experienced reduced blood pressure, the decrease was less compared to those who listened to the classical music. Overall, all genres of music led to a lower blood cortisol level.
The research team believes that the gender of each participant could have influenced the results. The cortisol level reduction was more significant in men than in women.
This reduction was more evident to those who listened to Strauss and Mozart. Overall, the study shows that music provides greater health benefits than silence.