Doctor's Note

Is that crazy or what? I’m fascinated by the whole topic. There’s actually a lot more out there in the medical literature on the effects of music. If folks dig this video, I’ll dig around for a sequel.

This is my first video on the effect of sound, but I have done a few on the effect of smells:

Exposure to industrial pollutants may also affect both allergic diseases and testosterone levels:

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  • HaltheVegan

    Dr, Greger, you have my vote for more of these kinds of videos. I am at the “tweaking” stage regarding food after having watched every one of your food related videos on nutrition for the past several years, but I’m really a novice when it comes to other factors, like music, affecting health.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      You got it–more music as medicine videos on the way!

      • Ali

        The most interesting question for me is: Which piece of music by bach did they listen to? I mean.. bach has written tons of pieces.. some of them very aggrevating and some are very melodic, did the paper mention what they listened to more specifically than “bach” ? :)

        • Ali

          I mean Mozart ofcourse.. not bach :P

      • Matthew Smith

        Was there a longevity benefit? Could you extrapolate a longer life listening to more Mozart in particular? How would you dose classical music for blood pressure benefit?

    • Ronald Pols

      Please, please…no ABBA ;)

  • Noe Marcial

    Haha always interesting! What about electronic (punchi punchi music) I feel increase the testosterone ! It may be a difference between music base on melody than based on rithm? I suppouse African drummes increase risk for inter corse while clasical music… We’ll not so much , there for good for studying haha it is any study on electronic music and how does afect our bodies?

    • Darryl

      Gerra G 1998. Neuroendocrine responses of healthy volunteers totechno-music’: relationships with personality traits and emotional state

      A significant increase was observed in β-endorphin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, norepinephrine, growth hormone and cortisol after listening to techno-music. Classical music induced an improvement in emotional state, but no significant changes in hormonal concentrations… Changes in emotional state and norepinephrine, β-endorphin and growth hormone responses to techno-music correlated negatively with harm avoidance scores and positively with the novelty-seeking temperament score on the Cloninger scale.

      • Noe Marcial

        thank you, its so interesting this study,
        so techno music increase cortisol, noradrenaline adrenocorticotropic … i can say officially this music does stress my self ahaha.
        growth hormone.. GF1? can we say now that techno music it is unhealthy?
        β-endorphin (opioid): haa!! now i know why i like it !

  • 1992Matze

    It is so funny, how the americans pronounce “Bach” xD

    • Wade Patton

      Give us a phonetic correction then, thank you.

      • http://www.bockige-wuerfel.de/ tanonymus

        Here is a video on how to pronounce “ch”. Just say Ba and ad that “cats hissing” form the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnFQdLOjiZ4 and here is a dokumentation on Bach – the narrator says his full name at secound 18/19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCgY1i4Lmw

        • Wade Patton

          Gotcha. It’s an extension of the “k” sound. A bit like the “rolling” of the double “r” when we muck up Spanish. I gag just a little bit every time I hear “us” Amercians say Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s name using only one syllable. Multi-lingualism is yet quite rare in this America. Thanks

      • 1992Matze

        Type this into the google translator. She says it correctly :)

  • harpers faerie

    I prefer mozart to bach and beethoven; very interesting information, which seems to provide some validation towards the healing power of music;

  • Wade Patton

    First visit to a my new dentist a couple of years back. They have a contemporary music stream flowing through the PA. Song comes on from the 80’s that I knew the name of. It’s The Police—

    _King of Pain_!

  • Veggie Eric

    Love it… My goto song for stress relief is Dave Brubeck – Take Five. In fact any Brubeck is awesome. =)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDDOFXSgAs

  • Laloofah

    “Gregorian chant (no relation)” – that amused me. :-)

    • Lizzie

      yea we giggled over here : )

  • Ty Ford
  • Darryl

    40,000 years? Pfah, we’ve probably been drumming since our common ancestor with chimpanzees, and one study showed group drumming counteracted age-related declines in immune function:
    Koyama M et al 2009. Recreational music-making modulates immunological responses and mood states in older adults

    • Thea

      Darryl: Your post reminds me of a video clip that I saw that Patricia McConnell often shows in her talks on understanding dog and human-dog behavior. Patricia likes to show a clip of humans constantly patting their dogs. The patting bahavior looks to be almost unconscious. After showing a series of humans obsessively patting their dogs, the video flips to a set of clips of zoo primates (can’t remember which kind) also patting anything they can – if not a friend, then the ground. Pat, pat, pat. Pat, pat, pat. Pat, pat, pat. I have no trouble what so ever believing that humans have been drumming since the beginning and that it is integral to our beings.

      I wish I could link to that video since it is very funny. But I don’t think it is available on-line.

    • Maureen Okun

      Not that I have anything to back this up, but I bet we were also singing since the time of that common ancestor, though probably wordlessly.

    • Danilo

      NEANDERTHAL FLUTE – World’s oldest instrument

      “…This unusual musical instrument, neither a flute nor a whistle, was cemented near the remains of a 50,000 – 60,000 years old Neanderthal fire pit, made from the thigh bone of a young cave bear into which the Neanderthal drilled three holes and made a sharpened rim for the mouthpiece using tools made of bone and stone…” More http://divje-babe.si/en/

      • http://www.bockige-wuerfel.de/ tanonymus

        Yea, but Neandertaliensis is not our ancestor. At least this is the common believe right now.

  • Joshua Pritikin

    I imagine Mozart would become over-familiar and lose its benefit even for neonates if hospital staff keep the stuff playing over and over again. There’s only so much Mozart you can hear before it gets old. Too bad Mozart is not still composing.

    • AllVegan

      True Mozart is not still composing, but he is still decomposing! Of course if Mozart was alive today we know what he would say, “help help let me out of here I can’t breath!”

      • AllVegan

        sorry

  • Ravi K

    I recently watched the documentary movie ALIVE INSIDE about using music from a certain era to bring back the memories of patients having dementia. It was quite an eye opener on how music works to heal

  • Will. M.

    Music has charms to soothe the savage breast

    I guess Congreve was right…

  • Brenton Wraith

    I Dig!

  • Satoshi Chomsky

    I dig it. More please. So does this imply that when at the gym, and heavy metal music is blasting, while it may give me a psychological boost, it is actually lessening my testosterone level and thus my energy to pump iron?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I would have thought more music leads to more stimulation, which leads to more testosterone in men and more of a “Hans and Frans” type of situation where “I want to Pump, You up!” However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In body builders, listening to music decreased testosterone so it’s not clear to me the mechanisms of testosterone and athletic performance. The full articles probably go into detail and you can find them all in “sources cited”. In the previous studies, Dr. Greger mentions how listening to music enhances athletic performance and enjoyment in male athletes. It would be interesting to know their testosterone levels, but I am not sure if the lowering of testosterone is the reason why athletic performance is enhanced. I am sure there are several mechanisms responsible. There are a few comments and study links about changes in norepinephrine and endorphins when listening to music further down in this thread. Interesting stuff to say the least! When I was at an Integrative Cancer hospital they incorporated creative writing and music therapy into patient’s lives. There is research to support the inclusion of music in cancer patients, as well.

      • Noe Marcial

        unfortunately the society may call music to all stiles but i doubt that the effect it is the same for all music. the increase in athletic perform i dont think that was the same music that for relax before anesthesia.. imagine that is not the same mosart than bach… what about heavy metal and debussy…. in terms of wave thes sing dont have nothing to do.. one is like a lake for the body wile the other an electroshock.
        im sure it shows consecuences like this article post here by darryl http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167876097000718
        it is a full new feel!! like nutrition..
        we can call this section MusicFacts.org hahah

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Love it! Grab the website URL while available ;)

  • Colleen

    OH yes, yes, yes!! Music has always influenced us humans (probably animals as well), but most of the time we don’t realize it, nor do we expect or acknowledge it. The number of organs, mental states and capabilities, skin responses, etc are much greater than we know. Ask anyone. Music therapists, symphony musicians, rock bands, etc. Please do write more . . . not only is this more than good to know, we never read about it.

  • Nigel Oswyn

    Speaking of the pain of “circumcision,” the euphemism for genital mutilation, which is technically illegal, what will it take for greedy quacks (OBGYNs and Paediatricians) to stop promoting this harmful and highly antiquated violation of human rights for a significant bump in their bottom lines? Here is a recent article about the pain babies actually feel:

    -First infant MRI study finds babies feel pain ‘like adults’

    LONDON | BY KATE KELLAND

    The brains of babies “light up” in a similar way to adults when exposed to the same painful stimulus, suggesting they feel pain much like adults do, researchers said on Tuesday.

    In the first of its kind study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists from Britain’s Oxford University found that 18 of the 20 brain regions active in adults experiencing pain were also active in babies.

    Brain scans of the sleeping infants while they were subjected to mild pokes on the bottom of their feet with a special rod — creating a sensation “like being poked with a pencil” — also showed their brains had the same response to a slighter “poke” as adults did to a stimulus FOUR TIMES AS STRONG, suggesting babies have a much lower pain threshold.

    “Obviously babies can’t tell us about their experience of pain and it is difficult to infer pain from visual observations,” said Rebeccah Slater, a doctor at Oxford’s paediatrics department who led the study.

    “In fact some people have argued that babies’ brains are not developed enough for them to really feel pain… (yet) our study provides the first really strong evidence this is not the case.”

    Even as recently as the 1980s it was common practice for babies undergoing surgery to be given neuromuscular blocks but no pain relief medication.

    Last year, a review of neonatal pain management in intensive care found that although these babies experience an average of 11 painful procedures per day, (gee, I wonder what percentage of those are acts of genital mutilation?) 60 percent do not receive any kind of pain medication.

    “Our study suggests that not only do babies experience pain but they may be more sensitive to it than adults,” Slater said. “If we would provide pain relief for an older child undergoing a procedure, then we should look at giving pain relief to an infant.” (Or, how about not doing anything unnecessary to cause them pain, DUH!)

    The research looked at 10 healthy babies aged between one and six days and 10 healthy adults aged 23 to 36. During the study the babies, accompanied by their parents and by doctors, were put in an MRI scanner where most of them fell asleep.

    MRI brain scans were then taken as the babies were poked on the bottom of their feet, and compared with scans of adults exposed to the same stimulus. The findings were published in the journal eLife.-

    • Guest

      Well, DUH! Everyone already knows that babies feel pain. They would cry and scream a lot less if they didn’t. But how could such a study every be approved by a medical review board. Torturing babies is not something they would approve or that any scientist with half a brain would try to do if he wants to keep his job. As a result, we can only conclude that this article is a fake and a fraud. Meanwhile, circumcision is deeply ingrained in religious ritual and isn’t likely to go away any time soon-so, get used to it.

      • Thule

        Let’s see, in one hand you denounce a light poking in the feet of babies as torture, and thus denounce anyone who would study their response as fraudsters, because no one would be as unethical as to do such a thing.

        And then you proceed to give a free pass to real mutilation and torture with this:

        “Meanwhile, circumcision is deeply ingrained in religious ritual and isn’t likely to go away any time soon-so, get used to it.”

        It was also deeply ingrained in religious rituals in Carthage to sacrifice babies, for a long time, and no one would question it.

        But you see — there is this little detail called basic human rights, one of them, as I hope you know, is your right to keep your physical integrity, that is, to be free from any mutilations.

        NO one has the right to do any such thing unto others, far less defenceless victims as this case, no matter the excuse — bloody rituals of whatever sort they sponsor. So no, we don’t get “used to it”, to this one or any other.

        I hope that males that were victims of this, keep suing the doctors.

        Finally FYI, in US might be common, but isn’t in the rest of the western world.

    • Charzie

      Calling them animals is an insult to animals, of course babies feel pain! Any mother knows even the fetus in her belly reacts to loud noises and stimuli, so how can they not feel pain? Why do they think they cry when they are wet, have tummy pain or get a needle? DUH!!! Apparently anything that doesn’t speak is fair game to torture?

    • Kiki

      Duh? Babies feel pain. All the procedures that are done without anesthesia or pain medications are just wrong! And those unnecessary should be avoided!

      But think of this: how many babies are murdered by abortion every day who feel pain?

  • Alice

    Every study I’ve ever seen about the psychological/physical effects of music has been so broad & non-specific as to trivialize both music & listener. What “classical” music? What Mozart, Bach, Beethoven? And what listener? There’s Mozart that sends chills down your spine (Don Giovanni scene where he gets carted off to hell) and is not in the least “calming”. There’s Bach that is so calming you could use it as lullaby music (slow movement of the 2 violin concerto). And what listener?–what experience/associations does she have to that music? Does the person even listen? A lot of music “listening” simply operates as a mental prompt reminding a person of some previous experience–she hears about one phrase and is off somewhere else. People with some childhood music training, who have been taught to listen, frequently can’t turn it off–the music they hear breaks thru all other mental processes. Great when the music is “good”/interesting, horrible when it’s not. Dentists’ offices, shopping malls, Starbucks! Many people like me have a very limited tolerance for piped-in, meaningless, attention-grabbing rhythmic noise. Bad enough in shopping malls, but pre-surgery? What a nightmare!
    I heard a wonderful performance of Mahler’s 3rd symphony last night, and didn’t sleep. So this subject is on my mind…

  • Rob Di Censo

    In my own experience, I use Jazz to calm my tenesmus (via U. Colitis) in traffic. If I get anxious in traffic and get urgency to go to the bathroom, I put on the Jazz station and usually the urgency goes away. Rock, classical, pop, or hip hop makes it worse. Jazz seems to do the trick. But lately the tenesmus is almost completely gone ever since I’ve incorportated oatmeal into my diet (probably due to its soluble fiber content? Not 100% sure though).

  • Charlie Behrens

    Perhaps you’ll need to start including background music on the soundtrack. ;-)

    Seriously though, while I found the psychological effects of music interesting, especially in lowering the need for pharmaceuticals, I am more interested in nutrition-related info being on the NutritionFacts site.

    Maybe this is impetus for a website explaining studies about medicine in other areas than nutrition. For example, are there studies that relate to the other aspects of a plant-based lifestyle? …studies into environmental impact, animal rights, hunger movement, anti-vivisection, and/or most obviously, living in sync with one’s values?

  • Lisa Fishman

    Amazing research – I’m so happy I found your page! Thank you for sharing this study.
    I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on the effects of sound – such as the positive effects of various sound frequencies on the body (ie: 528 Hz),
    how sound affects (and creates) form (ie: “Sacred Geometry”), the original tuning of “A” to 432 Hz (as opposed to the current system at 440 Hz), etc…
    This ancient knowledge is finally being rediscovered, and I’m so happy that people like you are sharing it!
    We are truly vibrational beings, and we are affected by sound down to our DNA.
    Keep it coming!
    **and, ps – I’d be VERY interested in research not just on sound, but on the latest studies on the effects of RADIOFREQUENCY WAVES (from cell phones, etc…) There are studies out, but not enough getting out to the mainstream.
    THANKS AGAIN!

  • Psych MD

    My brothers used to own a convenience store in one of the “less desirable” parts of town. Gang violence was a significant problem. The parent corporation conducted a number of studies trying to find ways deal with the issue. What they found was that classical music played in the parking lot drove the gang bangers away.

    • Thea

      Interesting. They use the same technique in the downtown area where I live. They blast the classical music and no one wants to hang out there. I know I don’t… (not that I was before ;-) )

  • Elisabeth

    Awesome! If Mozart is good for you, I’d LOVE to see what Schoenberg or Berg does. Rite of Spring, anyone? Maybe there’s a good physiological reason why the Parisians went crazy at the premiere! Maybe the effects of Wozzeck are in retrograde (musical “in” joke).

    • Darryl

      Pretty sure Penderecki sends my cortisol sky high.

    • Thule

      Since no one mentioned other classic music and in particular its instruments, I thought I would go ahead and comment. In my case for relaxation and meditation music nothing beats the gorgeous and very quiet ancient Guqin:

      “The guqin is a very quiet instrument, with a range of about four octaves, and its open strings are tuned in the bass register. Its lowest pitch is about two octaves below middle C, or the lowest note on the cello. Sounds are produced by plucking open strings, stopped strings, and harmonics. The use of glissando—sliding tones—gives it a sound reminiscent of a pizzicato cello, fretless double bass or a slide guitar.
      The qin is also capable of a lot of harmonics, of which 91 are most
      commonly used and indicated by the dotted positions. By tradition the
      qin originally had five strings, but ancient qin-like instruments with
      10 or more strings have been found. The modern form has been
      standardized for about two millennia.

      In 1977, a recording of “Flowing Water” (Liu Shui, as performed by Guan Pinghu, one of the best qin players of the 20th century) was chosen to be included in the Voyager Golden Record, a gold-plated LP recording containing music from around the world, which was sent into outer space by NASA on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2
      spacecraft. It is the longest excerpt included on the disc. The reason
      to select a work played on this specific instrument is because the tonal
      structure of the instrument, its musical scale, is derived from
      fundamental physical laws related to vibration and overtones, representing the intellectual capacity of human beings on this subject. In 2003, guqin music was proclaimed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.”

      An example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC5oafRNE-4&index=7&list=RDSIyx5XIQM6U

      (From China, although not as quiet as the Quqin I’ll also mention the Pipa and the Guzheng)

      And then there is the national instrument of Japan the Koto — Which evolved from the Guzheng. Really gorgeous, I guess many of you will recognise this song:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK51LblcEOw&list=RDZ_guyo_oAnw&index=4

      And now for what isn’t really music (different sounds) but helps a lot relaxing to at least the people who has it (I am among them)

      Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)

      “Can anybody experience ASMR?

      It seems at the moment that the answer is no. Not everybody reports experiencing this sensation. Most people discover it by accident in their childhood, however some adults
      experience it for the first time. If you haven’t experienced ASMR before, it might just be that you haven’t found your personal triggers yet. Check out our article detailing the common triggers to see if any of them do it for you.

      Benefits of ASMR

      Aside from the pleasurable sensation that ASMR offers there are a range of other benefits. Many intentional ASMR videos are essentially forms of guided meditations, meditating regularlyhas been shown to reduce stress levels and aid concentration among manyother things. For a lot of people ASMR is a gateway to developing an
      ongoing meditative practice.

      Additionally people who suffer from insomnia and regularly have difficulty getting
      to sleep can use ASMR videos to distract and relax them, and send them
      sleep when nothing else will. Some ASMR videos are designed specifically for this purpose, however if you find videos that include your personal triggers they should all be effective at this.”

      For example, the sound of brushing shoes anyone? :)

  • Johanna

    Ah-ha! So this is why I was totally delighted to hear some of my favorite classical music in the operating room when I was there for a thyroid cancer operation 14 years ago…. My medical staff must have been enlightened or all doctors know about this? : )

  • susad2985

    yes you hit it right, I came from a abusive childhood, the Monkees, had music that helped me to survive that childhood along with Christmas songs. I survived that life with the music and rock and roll in the 1970’s. It has helped me with my life and still does. Listen to sunshine on my shoulders and not melt. I have an ipod with over 1000 songs to help me calm after working with disabled people. that is cool with all music

  • Carol J

    Does that mean that a person’s cells might like Mozart, even if the person themselves doesn’t like Mozart? Hmm…

  • Charzie

    Music is fascinating and something we all are passionate about. I think besides smell associations, nothing can transport us to a magic place quite like music! It always intrigued me wondering about the evolutionary advantage to making and enjoying music, it is inborn, biological and wonderful! It obviously has more profound functions than simple enjoyment, physical and psychological. Who hasn’t been moved to tears by a beautiful musical phrase, or enlivened by a catchy tune, totally spontaneously? Yep, awesome stuff! We need more research, but the benefits are obvious! Keep us informed!

  • Christopher Harris

    I believe there may be an error shown in Table 2 at 3:28 in the video. In the row showing in vitro allergic response the results appear to be the same for Mozart & Beethoven: 6.5ng/ml before and 6.8ng/ml after. However, Dr. Greger says that the results for Mozart were better than for Beethoven (without giving the detailed absolute values). Please clarify the discrepancy or my misunderstanding. Thank you.

  • http://chrysanthetan.com Chrysanthe

    This is cool indeed, but I would want to know specifically which selections of music were used in each of the studies (and if a variety of recordings or live performances even were used). It’s not enough (for me) to know that Bach or Mozart worked or didn’t work a certain way. Maybe it was something about the key or tempo or instrumentation or audio quality or … you get the point.

    • Wade Patton

      Yep, a lot of real music lovers have “tuned in” to the comments on this one. I don’t know the classical genre as well, but I do know that in contemporary music, there can many selections by any one artist that I don’t like but love all the rest. Tip of an iceberg exposed here methinks.

      And what about how our bodies respond to the electromagnetic spectrum of energy- light and radio waves? We are awash in those all the time as well. My mind linked those up because of their wave properties- shared with sound.

    • Kiki

      For me specifically, classical music without words helped the anxiety. Also, seascapes, nature sounds. I did not get that specific but I do know that it had to be soothing, mellow music.

  • Kiki

    Music does wonders! When I was in the process of stopping anti-anxiety medications, I used primarily to calm myself. And when I was in the process of stopping the antidepressants, I used music to increase my mood along with exercise.

  • Axel Würz

    nice video. I think, however, that it would be necessary to try to define what Mozart music is (or Bach) etc. which piece was it, can it be described in terms of key, tempo, orchestration, melody, rhythm, phrase structure etc..with hundreds and thousands of Mozart pieces I am sure there will also be inter-Mozart differences..
    I came across some piece of information (but can’t remember where) that linked some music effects to the phrase length and duration, similar to the 5 Hz breathing pattern that seems to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system..

  • Kris

    Thank you for the Video. What about “Cold showers” for boosting imun system. Are there any studies?

  • Jason

    Music as medicine seems to be even more tenuous than food as medicine in that it is less quantifiable and thus provable, but I say bravo to Michael Greger for opening up this field of inquiry. Most of us probably do feel that music has an effect on our health or at least our temporary well being and state of mind. To me this isn’t controversial at all, though I still wonder why Mozart seems to have a superior effect when compared with other classical composers (could it be his emotional fluidity–the constant back and forth between major and minor, happy and sad…?). Would Mozart’s most melancholy pieces like the G-minor symphony and quintet, the A-minor piano sonata, D-minor piano concerto, the Requiem, parts of Don Giovanni–all accounted as ‘serious’ music–have the same effect as the buoyant, ebullient works like Eine Kleine Nachtmusic, the Jupiter Symphony, C-major piano concerto, parts of the Magic Flute, etc? I also wonder about genre, whether solo and chamber music has a similar effect as orchestral or choral. As for period, it is no surprise that most people seem to be relaxed by Mozart in comparison with say, Webern. There’s a telling episode of The Sopranos where a husband and wife are sitting at home listening to Webern’s Piano Variations (a strongly atonal work) and the husband gets a call telling him he’d better not testify against Tony Soprano. The music fits the edgy mood. At first I was astounded to hear this music was playing on an American TV program, albeit one as distinguished as The Sopranos, and then thought yes: this is the perfect music for a neurotic couple–shrinks, no doubt. I don’t mean to malign Webern or the atonal school, and it probably has its own value, but one can understand its lack of appeal to the general public and the compensations of Mozart.

    It’s revealing that Gregorian Chant seemed to be the only music not to seriously disrupt testosterone levels in both men and women (I would imagine that Bach’s music shares this meditative quality), and it’s really interesting that listening to one’s favorite music disrupted testosterone levels the most. Maybe this is why I hate the music they play in gyms and so never bother? I can say that the prospect of listening to Kenny G or a lot of ultra cool ‘Jazz’ would probably raise my blood pressure, but that’s just because I’m sort of a purist. Insider joke: Kenny G’s latest album is called ‘Straight, No Changes’ (pun on Thelonious Monk’s song, ‘Straight No Chaser’). Kenny G of course is as impersonal and characterless as his last name, just as Thelonious was as individual and iconoclastic as his first name. But that was when ‘the man in the street’ might be Jackson Pollack. We live in characterless times. Soft Jazz or Rock is not guaranteed to make me relax, but that’s because I resist the marketing and resent its success and ubiquity. Most people are probably different.

    The real question, of course, is whether music has long term health consequences. Can it help us develop or evolve? We live in a age when few would venture such an idea, but a century ago during the time of Bernard Shaw and Hermann Hesse (I’m thinking of ‘Steppenwolf’) and Thomas Mann many people did. What probably killed this notion was the metamorphosis of the German people from the most cultured in Europe to Nazis (Hitler preferred Wagner). So nobody would say that listening to the right music is any sort of guarantee of being healthy or a good person. Still, it stands to reason that music can be a discipline like exercise, can influence our thoughts subliminally.I think it works differently on different people, and it is hard to generalize, or even to say that one style or genre is more ‘healthful’ than another–even on the same person. We may need different music at different times of our life.

    As for classical music used as a deterrent to gang activity, that makes a lot sense–it being much different from the favored music of the gangsters. But I’ve also read that the US military likes to use ultra loud Rock or Heavy Metal in psychological warfare (they did this in Panama against Noriega, and probably also in Iraq/Afghanistan). I know I could stomach a lot more decibels of Vivaldi than contemporary pop.

    • Wade Patton

      Methinks that’s the conundrum of the musical interplay with physical response-that we have our own notions of what we like and dislike on the conscious level, but that some of these responses may be independent of that. IS our personal like/dislike/indifference a significant part of these sorts of responses, or do some or all of them flow independently of such?

      I do know know if I like the bits of Bach or Mozart they played, but do know that I like some of both. As I have often said, I like _some_ of nearly ALL types of music, but not ALL of _any_ type of music. There are classical pieces that I certainly love-and I run the spectrum from there through bluegrass and blues and rock and roll, some country, punk, power/speed metal and even to “dubstep”. But even of my favorite bands, there are sometimes one or two songs by a given artist that I quite hate from them being run into the dirt by broadcast media (overselling). Or I might love one song by an artist, and none of the rest.

      What about the complications of the emotional and body responses to a live event as to a recording? Is there a difference in response to a song seen in live performance and then listen to recorded, rather than one never heard live?

      Lots of fodder for the researchers.

      I wouldn’t know Kenny G if he walked in the door with my mail, nothingness music has no place in my ears.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Many great thoughts — thanks for sharing! I think what’s important is the research. Many integrative cancer centers have music therapy departments! Here is a neat research summary from MD Anderson Cancer Center, if interested.

      • Jason

        Thank you for that, Joseph. I have come across similar theories before, though not as developed as here. This is an example:

        “Key is most often referred to in the literature as either major or minor, following the rules for building scales. Bruner (1990) found that music in a major key with consonant harmonies was considered soothing and Wolfe et al. (2002) found supportive evidence with achievable improved relaxation. Harmonic progressions which are considered relaxing have an absence of unexpected chord resolutions, modulations or dissonant harmonies (Hooper, J. et al, 2010).”

        This is interesting in light of the fact that Mozart’s music often modulates into unexpected keys; this is a characteristic he shares with Bach, by the way. And a lot of Mozart’s (and Bach’s) best known music is in minor keys. One would think the ‘Mozart effect’ would be anything but relaxing. In fact, going by the recommendations here–non-modulating music in major keys featuring diatonic melodies with much repetition, small groups (chamber) featuring harp and cello, slow tempos (in 4/4 or 3/4 time), one ends up with either New Age, or perhaps some Baroque easy listening music (e.g., Pachelbel, Telemann)–certainly not any of the masterworks of the literature. Mozart, in fact, was criticized by his audience for writing “too many notes”, and many people found his music hard to follow (ditto for Beethoven and virtually every other creator).

        I think our response to music is strongly affected by our past listening. Some will relax to the elevator or dental music; others will grit their teeth (unless they’re sitting in the dentist chair with their mouths wide open).

  • David Hochstettler

    THANK YOU

  • Cathy Katin-Grazzini

    Dr. Greger -/I watch your videos daily & have benefited enormously both personally and professionally, as a culinary educator. THANK YOU for all you do for all of us out here! A generic question: How should we post questions re earlier videos, for which we hope to receive an answer from you?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Cathy. You can simply just ask away! Comment on the older video’s just as you are doing here :-) Thank YOU for the support!

      Best wishes,
      Joseph

  • Cathy Katin-Grazzini

    Here’s a question from an earlier video: Dr. Greger reported on how piperine significantly (up to 2000%!) boosts the bioavailability of curcumin, but stopped short, it seemed to me, of recommending that one routinely combine black pepper and turmeric to have those effects. In an earlier video w/Dr. Greger for Rouxbe Cooking School, he seemed appalled at the proposition, but perhaps he has changed his point of view? Since the effects might be quite significant, I’d appreciate a clarification both for 1) those looking to prevent chronic metabolic diseases and for 2) those confronting such diseases. Thanks!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Cathy. I think we tackled this on another page. Let me know if you received my reply. Thanks for your awesome questions!

      • Cathy Katin-Grazzini

        Yes, saw it! Thanks so much Joseph.

  • Tabitha

    This is great. The intersting thing about the male testostereone and music element is that during the 1980 in the UK we had high levels of “football hooliganism” which was very tribla and partisan, young men getting drunk and fighting afterwatching matche,,, By 1989/90 after the new dance music revolution was sweeping across the country, these same guys were enjoying the shared musical experience and and getting on with each other the fightin pretty uch vanished. Now ok, this also had a lot to do with MDMA,lets be honest, but the music, the frequencies and the communal and tactle experience of raves changed a generation of young men. as documented in many cultural documentaries.

  • http://twitter.com/PapsRockSC cassandra ridenhour

    Surprisingly, pipe organ music is extremely calming to me. You should definitely try it!

    • Jason

      Why surprisingly? I’d think a lot of people would associate organ music with church or with the sacred–if they are believers. People don’t usually go to church to get agitated, though Gospel music in Black churches can be ebullient.

      The odd thing is, once you pierce the first impressions and the associations with church music, straight solo organ music can be quite vigorous, even heaven-storming (e.g., Liszt, Reger, Messaien)–i.e., can have similar effect to Wagner, Strauss, or Stravinsky–though I suppose Messaien was influenced more by Debussy and Scriabin than by works like the Rite of Spring–which incidentally has been transcribed for the organ. Upshot: organ music comes in many colors, many moods. You can find tranquil and composed…or the opposite. A lot of Reger is quite agitato even though his model, Bach,was usually not.

  • dorange

    OK, so… aromatase inhibitors (taken for breast cancer) work blocking testosterone convertion to estrogen. I wonder if listening to Mozart might increase not only testosterone levels, but estrogen also in women?… and should not be recommended for breast cancer patients? Crazy thought!

  • JP

    As a musician I would love to see more/ a sequel of this, for anyone who wants to read more you can start here with the “Mozart Effect” http://www.nhs.uk/ipgmedia/National/Epilepsy%20Action/assets/Mozarteffectandepilepsy.pdf

  • Emanuelle

    This video is great! There’s a lot of info about what is CAUSING or TRIGGERING allergy, but not much helping us understand how to REVERSE the process and get fewer allergies or smaller reactions. Once an allergy has developed, traditional doctors seem to agree that it will stay there forever. I hope they are wrong because my daughter is allergic to almost ALL raw fruits and vegetables (except watermelon and cucmber). Do you know of more studies showing what can reverse the process and restore health?

  • walterbyrd

    On a similar note (no pun intended).

    How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng

  • Edith Andersen

    I will now go and look for the studies. ;)

  • Peter Quigley

    I read some researches and classic music increasing you brain potential. A lot of useful functions plus good mood, that’s what we are looking for. I recommend you to listening Mozart if you should work for a whole day. Here is good service where you can download any type of music royalty free http://melodyloops.com/.