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Music and blood pressure

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Science Project Description

Music and blood pressure
Music has been proven scientifically to have beneficial effects both mentally and physically. Music has shown to reduce blood pressure, change heart and respiration rate, relieve stress and muscle tension. Do different styles of music affect blood pressure in different ways? Which music works best in reducing blood pressure? This is the purpose of this experiment.

Project Info

Complexity level:6
Project cost ($):50
Time required:Does not take into consideration the time needed to obtain materials, recruit participants, and carry out the experiment
Safety concerns:

Overview

Music is an important part of many people’s lives. We may have a certain genera of music which we like to listen to when we want to relax, when we want to study, or when we want to celebrate. Equally true, music may pose a distraction for some, even causing discomfort. In this study, you will recruit subjects to listen to different musical styles and examine how it affects their blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that blood puts on the walls of blood vessels as it travels through them. Blood pressure is comprised of two measurements, systolic and diastolic pressures. In the blood pressure reading 120/80 mmHG (normal blood pressure), the top number is the systolic, while the lower number is the diastolic.

Questions:

  • What is blood pressure?
  • How can music have an effect on blood pressure?

Scientific Terms

Blood Pressure, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure

Materials

  • Ipod, walkman, radio, or other music playing device 
  • Sphygmomanometer (the instrument used by doctors to take your blood pressure).
  • Stethoscope 
  • Head phones or ear phones 
  • A collection of songs from different genres or styles.
  • Data sheet.
  • Participants (six or more).

Procedure

  1. Have a participant get relaxed. He/she may want to lie down or sit in a comfortable chair. The important thing is for the participant to be in a state of rest, and not have his/her heart rate elevated.
  2. Take the participant’s blood pressure reading.
  3. Use the data sheet to record the reading. This will score will serve as a baseline to compare the blood pressure levels during the experiment. 
  4. Have the participant listen to the first music selection. After the song is over, retake his/her blood pressure. 
  5. Again, record this information in the data sheet. 
  6. Repeat this process with all the music styles. 
  7. Repeat this process with all other participants. 
  8. Form a conclusion to the experiment's findings.

Music and Blood Pressure Data Sheet

Baseline Blood Pressure

Rock

Rap

Country

Jazz

Classical

Reggae

Other

Other

Participant 1

Blood Pressure

                 

Participant 2 Blood Pressure

                 

Participant 3 Blood Pressure

                 

Participant 4 Blood Pressure

                 

Participant 5 Blood Pressure

                 

 

Also consider

Try using white noise or sounds of nature, along with regular music styles.  

References

  • “What is blood pressure?” on the Life Clinic web site http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/blood/whatisit.asp
  • “How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health" on eMed Expert http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml
  • "The Power of Music To Reduce Stress" by Collingwood, from PsychCentral www.psychcentral.com/lib/the-power-of-music-to-reduce-stress/000930

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