Hot news: Beethoven is good for your blood pressure

Hot news: Beethoven is good for your blood pressure


norman lebrecht

August 04, 2022

A new study published in Cureus journal shows that listening to Beethoven’s fifth symphony and the Moonlight sonata can have a positive effect on regulating heart rate and improving mood.

The authors conclude: …our study suggests classical music has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system and potential emotional benefits. Music affects the cardiovascular system through multiple potential mechanisms including the autonomic nervous system and the vagus nerve which responds to musical vibrations by triggering the body to relax. Music also affects other parts of the brain, which in turn affects the mood through the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Dopamine release may contribute to the study findings which found that 83% of subjects found fast music uplifting. Finally, nearly all subjects believe music can help manage stress. Listening to music may be a potential therapeutic method for reducing anxiety and depression


  • Henry williams says:

    I spent a long time in hospital. When i recovered music
    Was the best medicine. It still is.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    I think it was composer Roy Harris who propounded some theories about the best tempi being those that matched a person’s pulse rate or respiration rate, I forget which.

    I cannot speak to blood pressure but I have learned that while I find most of my favorite pieces to be calming, there are certain pieces that I should NOT listen to while driving because I tend to gradually press harder on the accelerator pedal and find myself speeding, and maybe also not remaining situationally aware in general to my driving duties (e.g., missing my exit). Obvious examples like last movement of Tchaikovsky’s 4th and the closing to the William Tell overture, but also less predictable candidates such as the Grosse Fuge and the Kreutzer Sonata, as well as Siegfried’s Death and Funeral Music.

  • Branko says:

    Not only fifth symphony and Moonlight sonata but many other Beethoven’s masterpieces, what is with sixth Pastorale or fourth or some other piano sonatas or concerts.

    • Sammy says:

      Beethoven’s symphony 8 in C minor is the best I’ve heard of late. Could you suggest some more as I’ve just started exploring the classical music?

  • CYM says:

    Agree !! Although Beethoven could lead to hearing loss …

  • Fred Funk says:

    ….And then there’s a viola section tuning…..

  • BKing says:

    Though I’m always glad to see scientific recognition of music’s role in our physiology, I’m always a bit discouraged when (a) it’s presented as something new; and (b) particular pieces and/or composers are touted as being the “solution.” Music preference is a complex phenomenon and every individual will respond differently to the same music. If someone wants to use music to relax (or achieve other states), they can find the music that works best for them.

    As an MT-BC (board-certified music therapist) for 38 years, I celebrate the unique musical relationships I’ve had with hundreds of clients/patients seeking physiological, neurological, and psychological change — while knowing that our profession’s expertise will always be discounted by some because its very nature does not often fit into a quantitative research box.

  • William Ransom says:

    But PERFORMING it will kill you!

  • Sheila McLaren says:

    “Listening to music may be a potential therapeutic method for reducing anxiety and depression.”

    This is no longer “potential.” Listening to classical music is a definite method for reducing anxiety and depression. As a music therapist, I knew this, and I believe that Dr Oliver Sacks proved it beyond doubt.