Listening to Mozart reduces blood pressure

By Sheryl Kay • Published: February 10th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If you’ve had a hard day at the office, come on home, put your feet up and pop in the Sonata in C major.

Evidence now shows that listening to the works of famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart can calm you by lowering blood pressure almost as well as when you listen to specialized relaxation tapes.

The study involved forty-one seniors living in retirement communities who were separated into two groups. At least three times a week, one group listened to a twelve-minute relaxation tape with the sound of ocean waves combined with a man’s voice guiding the participants through breathing and relaxation exercises. The second group listened to a twelve-minute Mozart sonata.

In a presentation at the American Heart Association’s annual fall conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, doctors noted that the average systolic blood pressure readings (the top number) were reduced by nine millimeters of mercury for those who regularly listened to relaxation tapes. In contrast, those who regularly listened to Mozart also experienced lower blood pressure… a decline of about seven millimeters of mercury.

The researchers followed up with the study’s participants three months later. Only about half the seniors had continued listening to the relaxation tapes or to Mozart. But the lingering positive effects on blood pressure for these individuals was music to scientists’ ears.

But don’t skip a beat. Researchers stressed that while music may be soothing, it shouldn’t replace your doctor’s advice regarding blood pressure medication, good eating habits and exercise.