Immediate physiological responses of healthy volunteers to different types of music: cardiovascular, hormonal and mental changes

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1994;68(6):451-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00599512.


A group of 20 healthy volunteers [10 women, 10 men; median age 25 (20-33) years] were examined by means of pulsed wave Doppler echocardiography, blood sample analysis and psychological testing before and after listening to three different examples of music: a waltz by J. Strauss, a modern classic by H. W. Henze, and meditative music by R. Shankar. To assess small haemodynamic changes, mitral flow, which reflects left ventricular diastolic behaviour, was measured by Doppler ultrasound. Heart rate, arterial blood pressure and plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, prolactin, adrenaline, noradrenaline, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) were determined simultaneously. Transmitral flow profile is characterized by early E-wave and late atrial induced A-wave. Velocity-time integrals were measured and the atrial filling fraction was calculated. The mental state was measured by using a psychological score (Zerssen) with low values (minimum 0) for enthusiastic and high values (maximum 56) for depressive patterns. Music by J. Strauss resulted in an increase of atrial filling fraction (AFF; 29% vs 26%; P < 0.05) and ANP (63 vs 60; P < 0.05). The mental state was improved (Zerssen: 6.5 vs 11 points; P < 0.05). After the music of H. W. Henze prolactin values were lowered (7.7 vs 9.1; P < 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Music*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*


  • Hormones