Study: People’s Hearts React Differently to Same Music

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. preliminary / prɪˈlɪm əˌnɛr i / (adj) – initial or introductory

    Results from the preliminary medical examination will determine if a second test is needed.

  2. zero in / ˈzɪər oʊ ɪn / (phrasal) – to focus one's attention on something

    For the study, the researchers zeroed in on the country’s most populated cities.

  3. soothing / ˈsu ðɪŋ / (adj) – relaxing or calming

    My neighbor plays soothing music on her piano every morning.

  4. vital / ˈvaɪt l / (adj) – really important or needed

    The five vital organs in the human body are the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs.

  5. verify / ˈvɛr əˌfaɪ / (v) – to check or prove if something is correct or accurate

    A series of experiments were conducted to verify the study’s results.


Read the text below.

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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the findings of the study are convincing? Why or why not?
• What is your opinion on the use of music as a cure for common heart disorders? Explain.

Discussion B

• Do you think medical studies should focus on looking for new and innovative ways to treat illnesses or improving existing methods of treatment? Explain.
• Would you be interested in participating in such studies? Why or why not?

Category : Health