Health benefits of his music
Our Beloved FoundFamily:
There has been much research on the power of music and its ability to support healing. Although the exact mechanism by which music accomplishes this isn’t yet known, it most likely has to do with music, as sound frequency in vibration, and the effect it has on the vibration of our cells. For example:
- Music played to patients with Parkinson’s disease bypasses the injured parts of the brain that deal with motor skills, activating those that recognize rhythm. As long as they stay on the beat, patients can walk quite well, and the effect is instantaneous.
- When stutterers sing, their speech difficulty disappears.
- Stroke patients can significantly improve their speech capability and quality through melodic intonation therapy, a simple form of singing very similar to Gregorian chants.1
Of course, when it comes to healing, not all music is created equal. The third note of the six-tone scale of electromagnetic frequencies, known as the Solfeggio scale, vibrates at 528Hz and has been shown to repair DNA. Sacred chanting such as Gregorian chants showed strong support for DNA repair, while rock music inhibited it.2
Perhaps no composer’s music has been studied more for its health benefits than Mozart. Born in 1759, Mozart had composed and staged three full operas by age 16. After hearing Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere performed at the Vatican, which uses two choirs, Mozart reproduced the entire score from memory. His original compositions show no mistakes or corrections as if he took dictation directly from God when composing them. In short, he was a musical genius. In Volume 3 of our annual wellness journal, MegaZEN, we featured an article titled Medicine, Music & Mozart that shared amazing research on the composer’s work. Some of those findings included:
- Research conducted at the Center for Neurobiology and Memory in Irvine, California showed that after listening to 10 minutes of Mozart’s Sonata for Twin Pianos in D Major, students increased their spatial IQ score eight to nine points. This increase lasted up to 15 minutes after hearing the music.3
- A study published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery showed that music by Mozart reduced the rejection of heart transplants in mice and extended the functioning time before the transplant failed. New Age music from Enya had no effect in this regard.4
- A study published in Pediatrics showed that playing Mozart to premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) supported weight gain and accelerated growth.5
Now, new research from London Metropolitan University shows Mozart’s music improves short-term memory and the ability to recall words.6 This is just more confirmation of what researchers have for years called The Mozart Effect: the phenomenon of improved performance in cognitive tasks and processes after listening to the composer’s music.
In the study, three groups of people went through three rounds of memory tests, each time with a different list of positive, negative or neutral words such as love, stress, or chair. In the interval between hearing the words and the test one group listened to Mozart’s Eine, Kleine, Nachtmusik, while another listened to Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto, and the control group sat in silence.
Mozart’s music is full of self-contained and bounded phrases, similar to the typical structures of words and sentences. We believe this contributes to the positive effects that his music has on word recall.
Results showed the Mozart group significantly outperformed the other two and that his music enhances short-term memory. Interestingly, the group that had the poorest memory recall was the Mahler group. Even the test subjects that sat in silence had better memory recall than those listening to Mahler. Once again, when it comes to health benefits, not all music is created equal.
Using sonograms and spectrograms of each composer’s music, researchers believe they found the reason why Mozart’s music enhances memory and Mahler’s degrades it. Mozart’s music is composed in self-contained phrases that rise, fall, and provide a sense of completion before the next phrase begins, much like the sentences we speak. In contrast, Mahler’s more ethereal and unstructured phrasing, lacking a distinct melody is felt as incongruent by the mind, leaving it without a sense of order. The researchers stated:
“Mozart’s music is full of self-contained and bounded phrases, similar to the typical structures of words and sentences. We believe this contributes to the positive effects that his music has on word recall. Mahler’s music, by contrast, flows in a way that is very similar to how we hear a foreign language being spoken, or how babies hear language that they do not yet understand. The clearly delineated phrase structure in the Mozart piece may have supported word memory trace, while the flowing stream of the Mahler music would have blurred it.”7
So, if you’re healing from an illness, have a school test coming up or are one of those people who just can’t remember names, prescribe yourself a little Mozart. The Mozart Effect might work for you, too.
Love, Light, and Clarity in the Month Ahead,
Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami
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- Healy, M. (2010, March 1). The Hope of Music’s Healing Powers. The Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles], pp. https://www.latimes.com/health/la-xpm-2010-mar-01-la-he-0301-brain-music-therapy-20100301-story.html.
- Rein, Glen. Quantum biology: Healing with subtle energy. Quantum biology research lab, 1992. Print.
- Campbell, D. (2009). The Mozart effect: Tapping the power of music to heal the body, strengthen the mind, and unlock the creative spirit. HarperCollins.
- Uchiyama, M., & Jin, X. (2012). Auditory stimulation of opera music induced prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival and maintained generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ cells. Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 7(1). doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-26.
- Loewy, J., & Stewart, K. (2013). The effects of music therapy on vital signs, feeding, and sleep in premature infants. Pediatrics, 131(5), X9-X9. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1367d.
- Lange-Küttner, C., & Rohloff, S. (2020). Mozart sharpens and Mahler degrades the word memory trace. Advanced Research in Psychology. doi:10.46412/001c.13091.
- The Mozart effect on short-term memory. (2020, July 1). Retrieved from https://www.londonmet.ac.uk/news/spotlight/the-mozart-effect-on-short-term-memory/.