Research: BERNARDI and co-authors,

Listed in Issue 133


BERNARDI and co-authors, Department of Internal Medicine, IRCCS S Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, have measured the effects of music on heart activity, blood circulation, and breathing, and
discovered the importance of silence.


The aim of the study was to assess the potential clinical use, particularly in modulating stress, of changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems induced by different styles of music.


Measurement of cardiovascular and respiratory variables was performed while 12 practising musicians and 12 control subjects listened to music. After a 5 minute baseline, six different music styles (first for a two minute, then for a four minute track) with a randomly inserted two minute pause in either sequence were presented in random order. Breathing rate, ventilation, carbon dioxide, RR interval, blood pressure, mid-cerebral artery flow velocity, and baroreflex were the main outcome measures.


Breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate increased and mid-cerebral artery flow velocity and baroreflex decreased with faster tempi and simpler rhythmic structures compared with baseline. The pause reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, even below baseline. An order effect independent of style was evident for mid-cerebral artery flow velocity, indicating a progressive reduction with exposure to music, independent of style. Musicians had greater respiratory sensitivity to the music tempo than did non-musicians.


Music induces an arousal effect, predominantly related to the tempo. Slow or meditative music can induce a relaxing effect; relaxation is particularly evident during a pause.


Bernardi L, Porta C, Sleight P. Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory changes induced by different types of music in musicians and non-musicians: the importance of silence. Heart 92 (4): 445-452, Apr 2006.


How interesting a result. This will add to the literature regarding the effects of music in cardiovascular clinical practice.

ICAN Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

Cycle from Milan to Venice for Regain 2023

top of the page