The effect of music on heart rate

(1) Centerville High School, Centerville, Ohio
* These authors made equal contributions

“Does music actually touch your heart?” Yes, it actually does. It has been shown that fast paced music increases heart rate and slow paced music decreases heart rate. The purpose of our experiment was to determine whether or not the two different kinds of music affect heart rate of adults in a high school setting. Thirty subjects above the age of 18 years were chosen randomly from the school. They were required to listen to two different songs with one being slow and the other being fast and upbeat, for a time period of 2.5 minutes each. The subject’s heart rate was taken before and after each song (4 times total) with a resting period of 1 minute between songs to allow the heart rate to recover back to a steady state. We hypothesized that slow music would decrease heart rate whereas fast music would accelerate it. The results at the end of our experiment showed that 93% of subjects experienced a decrease in heart rate following the slow song and 100% of subjects experienced an increase in heart rate following the fast song. We concluded that there is, indeed, a relationship between music and heart rate.

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music physiology
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