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  • Michael Spencer

Soundings: music vibes as good as sex

From Ronna Porter.

Recent research from Prof Daniel Levitin of McGill University shows that:

“music has specific effects on the body’s physiology, including heart rate, respiration, sweating, and mental activity”

according to an article in Wednesday’s Telegraph. I particularly like Prof Levitin’s recommendations of pieces of music that he believes to be helpful in managing your body’s response to particular activities, for example:


“Studying, working: Mozart, Divertimenti for Winds; Doc Watson, Foundation: The Doc Watson Guitar Instrumental Collection, John Coltrane, Ballads; Gary Burton and Chick Corea, Crystal Silence; Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells.”

My personal favourite music to work to is currently from Puccini – floating gently in the background it lifts my mood, every now and again bringing attention to my lost concentration (resulting in renewed vigor) with a beautiful aria.

This made me think about how interesting classical.com‘s pitch to companies is to provide employee access as a perk – I can see lots of potential applications within companies.

As I speak to people about this in my day-job at Sound Strategies, its incredible the sorts of anecdotes I hear that demonstrate almost everyone knows instinctively that this is true.  My husband develops just the sort of Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanners used in this sort of research, and I always find it fascinating comparing our two very different world views on this type of research.

Its also worth watching this fascinating interview with Dan Levitin on PBS, or reading his book This Is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession.