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My science project is: How does music affect blood pressure?

1. How do you think music affects blood pressure?

2. Can music be healthy to listen to?

3. How can I make my project the best it can be?

Question Date: 2012-11-16
Answer 1:

1. There are constantly new links being discovered between our input sensors (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin) and our physical output (in this case our blood pressure or certain mental activity.) In a brief search I was able to find several articles that suggest listening to certain types of music *absolutely* help to promote heart health and lower blood pressure. The type of music being listened to is certainly important. I'm sure you've heard songs that make you want to close your eyes and soak in serenity, as well as songs that get you amped up and excited. Here are two articles I found on the effect of tempo and music to heart rate and blood pressure.


Those are both good links to get you on the right track. You've picked and well-explored subject which means that you'll have lots of resources you can reference. This will make developing your project fun and straight-forward! Personally, I use music often to help control my state of mind and body. Before bed, listening to soothing music makes it easier for me to quickly fall asleep. Listening to music is also a way for you to identify and map life circumstances for me. When I think about a certain artist or album or tracks that were important to me at a certain time, I am able to remember lots about where I was and what I was doing while listening to that music. Continually mixing up your music library and exploring new sounds will aid in developing your own mental map. It's quite enjoyable!

2. Music is most certainly healthy to listen to. If you want evidence for this, spend a few minutes like I did to seek out information from those who have done research on the matter! I do want to caution, however: The sound level is very important because the human ear is a highly sensitive instrument. Here is an article describing the dangers of listening to music too loudly:


This seems to be the biggest and only negative side effect to enjoying your favorite beats. Here are two other sources I found interesting:


3. You can make your project the best it can be by being and open-minded and curious scientist! I know that's not specific to your project, but it's important to keep thoughts of inquisition (asking questions) and exploration on the front of your mind while practicing science. It is fantastic that you are taking time to ask important questions about how humans are affected by things we do often! Please continue to do that!

Learning and growing is truly a lifelong process. Get as far ahead as you can and be relentless! The best scientific and creative minds are those who are devoted and persistent. Make sure you are developing positive personality traits along with your education and you will see a bounty of fortune and opportunity! Good luck with your project!


Answer 2:

To help you with your science project, I do think that music could have an effect on blood pressure. When measuring someone’s blood pressure, you are measuring the amount of pressure exerted by blood as it flows through your body. There are many things that contribute to how high or low your blood pressure will be, such as heart rate (how many times your heart beats per minute) and how constricted your blood vessels are. These factors (especially heart rate) can change depending on a person’s mood. For example, if you are very relaxed your heart may beat slower and your blood vessels could be less constricted, lowering your blood pressure. I think it is safe to say that music can have an impact on mood, therefore it is very possible that listening to music could change your blood pressure.

Perhaps for your project, start by picking a type of music that you think would have an effect on someone’s relaxation state (classical music may calm people down for example) and play it for subjects while you take their blood pressure. You would need two groups, an experimental and a control. The experimental group will have music played to them while they have their blood pressure taken and the control group will not. You should take your subjects’ blood pressures 3 times throughout one day without playing any music to get a baseline reading. Then on another day let the experimental group listen to music and take their blood pressure 3 times throughout the day. Also retake your control group’s blood pressures without playing them music in the same way. You may want to experiment with how long you let them listen to music before taking their blood pressure. I would probably start with having the subject listen to music for about 5 minutes, then let the music continue to play while you take their blood pressure. That way they have a little time to acclimate to the music before you take the reading. Average out your 3 baseline readings for each subject to determine their average blood pressure. Repeat this for your experimental set of blood pressures as well. Then you can then calculate the difference between the baseline blood pressure reading and the music/no music blood pressure reading for each person. Calculate the mean difference for each group and use a student’s t test to determine significance (you can do that on excel pretty easily). If you have the time, you could also experiment with having people listen to different types of music, to determine how music type affects blood pressure. Good luck with your project!

All the best,

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