Listening to Verdi and Mozart could help prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

Japanese scientists have discovered that exposure to classical music may have health benefits far beyond those previously documented.

We all know that classical music can act as a balm for the soul, but the findings of a study published in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery  suggests that it’s good for the ticker as well. The experiment, conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr Masanori Nimi, monitored the responses of mice to various sounds and genres of music after they underwent heart transplants from unrelated donors.

The rodents were divided into five groups exposed to opera (Verdi’s  La Traviata, conducted by Sir Georg Solti), instrumental music (Mozart concertos), New Age music  (The Best of Enya), monotone sound frequencies, or no music.

After several days’ convalescence under these conditions, the mice whose soundtracks featured Enya, one of the sound frequencies, or no music at all rejected the transplanted organs. Their hearts gave out 7.5 to 11 days after surgery.

By contrast, the researchers report that the mice exposed to Verdi or Mozart “had significantly prolonged survival”, up to 26.5 days for those listening to La Traviataand 20 days for the...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now