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Listening to Mozart Helps Blood Pressure, No Effect From ABBA Researchers Say

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Jun 21, 2016 08:03 PM EDT | Philip Trapp


The oil painting 'Mozart in Verona,' painted by Saverio Dalla Rosa in 1770, and on loan from Jean Cortot, is seen through a camera at the residential house of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the opening of Mozart week January 27, 2006 in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. (Photo : Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

A group of German researchers recently released findings concluding that listening to Mozart can help to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Applying an experiment wherein 60 test subjects' responses to the music of classical composers Mozart and Strauss were compared to the sounds of Swedish pop group ABBA, the scientists found that the classical selections lowered systolic blood pressure in participants.

"No substantial effect" on blood pressure was observed from the candidates listening to ABBA, balanced by a control group of 60 hearing only silence. The control group showed slight blood pressure lowering while resting in a prone position but the effect was less pronounced than the classical music subjection. A head researcher of the study summed up the scientific findings:

"It has been known for centuries that music has an effect on human beings. In antiquity, music was used to improve performance in athletes during the Olympic Games," said lead author Hans-Joachim Trappe, of Ruhr University, Germany.

As we previously reported, various other scientific studies have found that listening to classical music can have numerous health benefits. The reduction of stress and improvement of cognition are just a few of the bodily advantages obtained by the genre's adherents.

It comes as no surprise that the researchers chose the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the study, as he is perhaps the most influential composer of the Classical era. The author of over 600 revered musical works, he is still one of the most popular symphonists among classical music fans today.

The study does not explicitly detail why ABBA was chosen as the experiment's preferred source of "modern" music apart from being representative of 20th century pop music. The experimental procedure used their 1970s and '80s radio hits like "Thank You for the Music," "The Winner Takes It All" and "One of Us."

The complete report from Trappe and his team may be accessed here.

Below, listen to the systolically-soothing sounds of Mozart.

We want to hear from you. Do you plan on upping your classical music intake for its beneficial effects on blood pressure and heart rate? Let us know in the comments section down below.

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