In every age of human history and in every society across the planet, music has enabled people to share their feelings and communicate with other individuals. More than just expressing feelings, music may change them as British dramatist William Congreve place it 1697, “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast”

Few things are more stressful than sickness and operation. Can music decrease anxiety in such challenging conditions? Several trials show that it can.

A study from New York analyzed how music impacts patients. Forty cataract patients having a mean age of 74 volunteered for the trial. Half were randomly assigned to get regular care; others got the exact same attention but also listened to songs in their choice via headphones prior to, during, and immediately following the surgeries. Before operation, the patients in the two groups had similar blood pressures; per week prior to the surgeries, the average has been 129/82 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The normal blood pressure in both teams climbed to 159/92 before operation, and in the two groups, the normal heart rate jumped from 17 beats a second. However, the sufferers surrounded by silence remained hypertensive during the procedure, although the pressures of people who listened to audio came down quickly and remained down to the recovery area, in which the average decrease was still an impressive 35 millimeter Hg systolic (the upper number) and 24 millimeter Hg diastolic (the bottom number). The listeners also reported they felt calmer and improved throughout the surgery. The ophthalmologic surgeons had no problems communicating with their patients within the noise of their audio, but the investigators did not ask the doctors if their patients’ enhanced blood pressure readings created them more comfortable since they did their job. Earlier research, however, discovered that surgeons showed fewer signs of anxiety and demonstrated improved functionality whilst adhering to self-selected music.

A study of 80 patients undergoing urologic surgery under spinal surgery discovered that music may reduce the demand for supplemental intravenous sedation. In this study, patients could control the quantity of sedative they obtained during their surgery. Patients who have been randomly assigned to follow music had less relaxing medication compared to those delegated to listen to white noise or into the chatter and clatter of the working area itself.

From the cataract and urologic surgery studies, the patients have been alert during their surgeries. However, a study of 10 critically ill postoperative patients reported that songs can decrease the stress reaction even if patients aren’t conscious. All of the patients were getting the highly effective intravenous sedative propofol, so that they could be preserved on breathing machines at the intensive care unit (ICU). Half of the patients were randomly assigned to use headphones that played slow moves from Mozart piano sonatas, while another half wore cans which didn’t play audio. Nurses who did not understand which patients had been hearing audio reported that those who discovered music took less propofol to keep deep sedation compared to those patients wearing quiet headset. The audio recipients had lower blood pressures and heart rates in addition to lower blood levels of the stress hormone adrenaline and also the inflammation-promoting cytokine interleukin-6.

Neither of those working room studies given the kind of songs used, although the ICU trial utilized slow classical songs. An Italian study of 24 healthy volunteers, half of whom were skillful musicians, discovered that pace is vital. Slow or real music generated a calming effect; quicker tempos generated stimulation, but immediately following the positive music ceased, the subjects’ heart rates and blood pressures came down to under their customary levels, indicating comfort.