Effects of Algorithmic Music on the Cardiovascular Neural Control

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Music influences many physiological parameters, including some cardiovascular (CV) control indices. The complexity and heterogeneity of musical stimuli, the integrated response within the brain and the limited availability of quantitative methods for non-invasive assessment of the autonomic function are the main reasons for the scarcity of studies about the impact of music on CV control. This study aims to investigate the effects of listening to algorithmic music on the CV regulation of healthy subjects by means of the spectral analysis of heart period, approximated as the time distance between two consecutive R-wave peaks (RR), and systolic arterial pressure (SAP) variability. We studied 10 healthy volunteers (age 39 ± 6 years, 5 females) both while supine (REST) and during passive orthostatism (TILT). Activating and relaxing algorithmic music tracks were used to produce possible contrasting effects. At baseline, the group featured normal indices of CV sympathovagal modulation both at REST and during TILT. Compared to baseline, at REST, listening to both musical stimuli did not affect time and frequency domain markers of both SAP and RR, except for a significant increase in mean RR. A physiological TILT response was maintained while listening to both musical tracks in terms of time and frequency domain markers, compared to baseline, an increase in mean RR was again observed. In healthy subjects featuring a normal CV neural profile at baseline, algorithmic music reduced the heart rate, a potentially favorable effect. The innovative music approach of this study encourages further research, as in the presence of several diseases, such as ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and heart failure, a standardized musical stimulation could play a therapeutic role.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 25 2021


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