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Want to be smart? Listen to Mozart. Feeling depressed? Listen to sad music.

Health benefits of Music


Dr Sampurna Roy MD                    


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Singing and enjoying music is a natural instinct.

Simple rhythm and melody, two of the most important features of music, are as old as man himself.

Your mother may have instinctively sung a lullaby when you were crying as a baby.

Origins of music is almost certainly older than painting, sculpture, poetry or any means man has found for expressing his thoughts and feeling.

The word music is derived from the Greek word Muse.

The Greeks believed that each mode was related to a certain state of mind.

In the same way today different scales or keys, are sometimes linked with particular state of mind.

Some keys are thought to be happy and others to be sad.

Such comparisons are a matter of personal feeling.

For the Greeks, however the character of each mode was definite and music played in a particular mode was supposed to bring on a certain state of mind in the listener.

In 1993 Rauscher et al  postulated that, after listening to Mozart's sonata for 10 minutes a normal person becomes smarter, more creative and showed significantly better reasoning skills.

The IQ scores were 8 and 9 points higher after listening to the music.

This is known as Mozart effect.

Music therapy plays an important role in clinical conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer pain, epilepsy, depression and dementia.

Studies showed involvement of limbic and paralimbic cerebral structures (such as amygdala, hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, temporal poles, insula, ventral striatum, orbitofronal, as well as cingulate cortex) during the processing of music.

Soothing music is known to boost immune response.

There is evidence of increase in the activity of natural killer cells, lymphocytes and proinflammatory cytokine interferon-γ.

Music not only improves quality of life, it also has effect on the heart rate and cerebral blood flow and probably prolong life.

The greatest benefit on health is observed  after listening to classical music and meditation music.

Listening to music by Bach, Mozart has a calming effect on the patients.

In contrast loud, aggressive rock music can be dangerous and can lead to stress and cardiac arrhythmias.

Patients with coronary heart disease often suffer from severe mental distress due to diagnosis, hospitalization, surgical procedures.

Music relaxes patients who have undergone major cardiovascular surgery.

Reduces anxiety and improve quality of life of patient with depressive symptoms, frail sick elderly patients, patients in acute pain and those in intensive care.

Many nervous patients suffer from uncertainty of outcome of a major surgery and fear of dying.

Many patients have doubts about progress in recovery, feel helplessness and loss of  self control.

In these anxious patients carefully selected music has a calming effect.

Music that conveys sadness can be give real pleasure.

Music related to grief and sorrow is more often found beautiful than music that related to joy and happiness.

We all know music, plays, films and paintings with a sad content are very popular.

Many films with sad songs and unhappy endings have been blockbusters.

We have seen people coming out with tears in their eyes and smile on their lips.

It is believed that the pleasure people experience in music is related to emotions induced by the music.

They have often reported that  listening to music changed their emotions.

Some scholars stated that  hormone prolactin was responsible for feeling pleasure.

According to some researchers feeling of sadness caused by music clear out negative emotion and gives a feeling of satisfaction.

The person is able understand his own deep emotion and learns to regulate is feelings.

A connection is formed between feelings of the composer and the listener.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in modern society.

Prenatal sleep disturbance has been associated with pregnancy related complications.

Research showed music may be effective for improving sleep quality in adults with insomnia, senior citizens and pregnant women.

If you want to be smart listen to Mozart and if you are depressed listen to sad music.

If you are a night owl listen to the soft relaxing music and go to sleep.


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Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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