The next time you’re looking for ways to unwind, play by the ear. A study conducted by research students of the biophysics department at the University of Mumbai has found that Indian classical music not only reduces blood pressure and the pulse rate, but also slows down brain activity, and thereby, relaxes the mind.
Researchers studied 40 people from the age group of 20-30, who were made to listen to Indian classical instrumental music for 15 minutes. Prior to the experiment, their blood pressure, heart beat and brain activity, measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG), were recorded.
An EEG detects activity in the cortex region of the brain through four wave patterns — alpha (awake but relaxed), beta (alert and attentive), theta and delta (low-frequency). It is useful in diagnosing mental illness, epilepsy and sleep disorders.
All three study parameters of the 40 participants showed variations during the course of the music session.
Martina David, lead researcher and one of the students conducting the study, said, “The blood pressure and the pulse rate also dropped, which indicates that the mind was relaxed.”
Researchers, however, refused to reveal more details of their study as they are yet to publish a paper on it.
Next on their plate: to find out if Indian classical music can be used to cure mental illness, said Prof PM Dongre, head of the biophysics department of the university. The study’s findings will be presented at the Indian Biophysical Society at the university’s Kalina campus on Monday.