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      Tempo and Autonomic Control of the Heart


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      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2015) (EVA)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      7 & 9 July 2015

      Heart rate, Blood pressure, Respiration, Heart rate Variability, Music, Beat, Tempo

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          Music is a powerful stimulus and has been found to influence cardiovascular activity, including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and heart rate variability. Previous research has used complex pieces of music which render it difficult to determine whether changes in a particular musical parameter are associated with the observed variations in cardiovascular activity. This study uses simple musical stimuli to overcome this issue, with the aim to investigate the effect of sudden changes in tempo on autonomic control of the heart. Heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity are measured in four experimental conditions. The musical background and health status of all participants are ascertained to explore individual differences in cardiovascular responses. Preliminary findings demonstrate that heart rate during the four conditions is mediated by prior exposure, gender and age at which an individual starts formal music training. Relationship between music and physiology is complex. This study concludes that more controlled and simple musical stimuli can be used to examine the impact of music on autonomic control of the heart.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory changes induced by different types of music in musicians and non-musicians: the importance of silence.

          To assess the potential clinical use, particularly in modulating stress, of changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems induced by music, specifically tempo, rhythm, melodic structure, pause, individual preference, habituation, order effect of presentation, and previous musical training. Measurement of cardiovascular and respiratory variables while patients listened to music. University research laboratory for the study of cardiorespiratory autonomic function. 12 practising musicians and 12 age matched controls. After a five minute baseline, presentation in random order of six different music styles (first for a two minute, then for a four minute track), with a randomly inserted two minute pause, in either sequence. Breathing rate, ventilation, carbon dioxide, RR interval, blood pressure, mid-cerebral artery flow velocity, and baroreflex. Ventilation, blood pressure, and heart rate increased and mid-cerebral artery flow velocity and baroreflex decreased with faster tempi and simpler rhythmic structures compared with baseline. No habituation effect was seen. The pause reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and minute ventilation, even below baseline. An order effect independent of style was evident for mid-cerebral artery flow velocity, indicating a progressive reduction with exposure to music, independent of style. Musicians had greater respiratory sensitivity to the music tempo than did non-musicians. Music induces an arousal effect, predominantly related to the tempo. Slow or meditative music can induce a relaxing effect; relaxation is particularly evident during a pause. Music, especially in trained subjects, may first concentrate attention during faster rhythms, then induce relaxation during pauses or slower rhythms.
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            Heart Rate Variability.

             Marek Malik (1996)
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              Dynamic interactions between musical, cardiovascular, and cerebral rhythms in humans.

              Reactions to music are considered subjective, but previous studies suggested that cardiorespiratory variables increase with faster tempo independent of individual preference. We tested whether compositions characterized by variable emphasis could produce parallel instantaneous cardiovascular/respiratory responses and whether these changes mirrored music profiles. Twenty-four young healthy subjects, 12 musicians (choristers) and 12 nonmusician control subjects, listened (in random order) to music with vocal (Puccini's "Turandot") or orchestral (Beethoven's 9th Symphony adagio) progressive crescendos, more uniform emphasis (Bach cantata), 10-second period (ie, similar to Mayer waves) rhythmic phrases (Giuseppe Verdi's arias "Va pensiero" and "Libiam nei lieti calici"), or silence while heart rate, respiration, blood pressures, middle cerebral artery flow velocity, and skin vasomotion were recorded.Common responses were recognized by averaging instantaneous cardiorespiratory responses regressed against changes in music profiles and by coherence analysis during rhythmic phrases. Vocal and orchestral crescendos produced significant (P=0.05 or better) correlations between cardiovascular or respiratory signals and music profile, particularly skin vasoconstriction and blood pressures, proportional to crescendo, in contrast to uniform emphasis, which induced skin vasodilation and reduction in blood pressures. Correlations were significant both in individual and group-averaged signals. Phrases at 10-second periods by Verdi entrained the cardiovascular autonomic variables. No qualitative differences in recorded measurements were seen between musicians and nonmusicians. Music emphasis and rhythmic phrases are tracked consistently by physiological variables. Autonomic responses are synchronized with music, which might therefore convey emotions through autonomic arousal during crescendos or rhythmic phrases.

                Author and article information

                July 2015
                July 2015
                : 56-63
                ICSRiM – University of Leeds, School of Music and School of Computing, Leeds LS2 9JT, U.K.

                heartbeat@icsrim.org.uk, www.icsrim.leeds.ac.uk
                © Kelly Hamilton Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2015, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2015)
                London, UK
                7 & 9 July 2015
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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