Photo of Luciano Pavarotti (Opera) courtesy of Pirlouiiiit
This another of the best medicine series. In this case it is the right kind of music is good medicine for the heart.
Dr. Luciano Bernardi led a team of researchers from Pavia University, Italy, in a study of the effects of five random tracks of classical music on 24 healthy volunteer subjects by monitoring how their body respond to the music. The music include selections from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Nessun Dorma, an aria from Puccini's Turandot, Bach's cantata Number 169, Nabucco: Va Pensiero and Libiamo ne'lieti calici from La Traviata.
The researchers found that musical crescendo (gradual volume increase) stimulated the body which caused narrowing of blood vessels under the skin, increased blood pressure and heart rate and increased respiratory rates. On the other hand, diminuendos (gradual volume decreases) caused the opposite, that is, relaxation which led to slowed heart rate and lowered blood pressure. Operatic music which alternates from fast to slow was found to be the best for the heart and blood circulation.
Source: BBC News: Opera 'is music for the heart'