Music Response Variability (05-28-20)

Chew, Lambiase, and colleagues studied physiological and emotional variations from one person to another in responses to music heard.  Their work indicates that someone can “Play the same piece of music to two people, and their hearts can respond very differently. . . .  patients with mild heart failure requiring a pacemaker were invited to a live classical piano concert. . . . Professor Chew said: ‘Even though two people might have statistically significant changes across the same musical transition, their responses could go in opposite directions. So for one person the musical transition is relaxing, while for another it is arousing or stress inducing.’ For example:  a person not expecting a transition from soft to loud music could find it stressful, leading to a shortened heart recovery time. For another person it could be the resolution to a long build-up in the music and hence a release, resulting in a lengthened heart recovery time.”

Sophia Antipolis.  “Every Heart Dances to a Different Tune.”  Press release, European Society of Cardiology,