The Effects of Different Types of Musical Genres Have on the Human Cardiopulmonary System
The human cardiopulmonary system reacts to many things from the environment to thoughts and feelings. Music has a tremendous effect on the human condition; it has been used for a while now for therapeutic treatment (Lee 1989, Michel 1985). Measuring a healthy heart working is done easily with two simple methods: pulse rate and blood pressure. Pulse rate is measured easily by the pulses an artery makes in a minute. A normal pulse rate of a human at rest is between 60 to 80 beats per minute (Encyclopedia 2008). The blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer which is usually done by placing the cuff of the sphygmomanometer above the brachial artery which is usually given in the readout of systolic pressure over diastolic pressure. The average heart rate is around 115/75 or systolic pressure 115 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) and diastolic pressure 75 mmHg (Encyclopedia 2008). The question our experiment is addressing is weather different musical genres have different effects on pulse rate and heart rate. The hypothesis being tested is that if music does have an effect on the heart then calm music would affect the pulse rate and blood pressure positively resulting in a safe decrease them both, and more energetic faster music would have the inverse effect but still be safe. This could be very beneficial to know because this could deal with therapy options for people. Many studies have been done to see the effects of music on physical performance, and this could help support the basic underlying assumption in those studies that music can either raise or lower both pulse rate and blood pressure, which can help with physical performance for other studies (Akimoto 2006, Coutts 1965).
The materials used in the lab were two songs. The calm song used was This year's love by David Gray off the album White Ladder, and the energetic faster song used was Bleeding Mascara by Atreyu off the album Warped Tour Disc 1. To measure heart rate and blood pressure a sphygmomanometer was used.
The independent variable was the two different songs used in the experiment, and the two different groups listening to the music in different orders. The dependent variable was the different measurements recorded from the experiments before during and after the two songs. The experiment began with collecting the materials and letting the participants in the experiment relax for 5 minutes before the first recording of pulse rate and blood pressure. Then after taking the first pulse rate and blood pressure reading the participant was able to relax for 1 to 2 minutes, then the pulse rate and blood pressure was taken again. Then after another break of 1 to 2 minutes the third reading of pulse rate and blood pressure was taken yet again.
After the at rest pulse rate and blood pressure readings were taken, the music was hooked up to speakers for the participants to hear, then it was made clear to the participants that their pulse rate and blood pressure was going to be taken 30 seconds into the song, 1 min 30 seconds into the song and then 30 seconds after the song, and that those readings would take place at the same time during the second piece of music chosen as well. The participants were separated into two groups at random, and for the first group the music was played in the order fast and then calm and the second groups order went calm and then fast. Both songs were measured at the same points as mentioned above and recorded down on paper. A template was then gathered for all the data to be analyzed later using a T statistic test using a p value < .05. The data sheet and statistic test were done using Excel by Microsoft.
The experiment resulted in such, some participant's pulse rate and blood pressure raised and lowered due to the music. The data obtained during the experiment only some error messages were received during the experiment.
Looking at the data sheet attached titled “Cardio Lab Tables” is separated into two groups. The numbers in the columns are the pulse rates and blood pressures gathered during the lab. The two groups are the first and second listening groups. The numbers correlate to the titles of the columns above. In some of the data slots there is the word “error” this means an error occurred gathering the blood pressure and pulse rate. The table includes the blood pressure and pulse rate readings at rest taken three times. The rest of the data is readings taken during and after the two songs.
The graphs attached are the average systolic and diastolic readings versus the time taken. The T statistic test done in Excel was paired and the p value in the test is .05 which will explain if the data gathered is significant or not. In the T tests done there are the p value for the systolic pressure between the two groups during the songs
My hypothesis being tested is that if music does have an effect on the heart then calm music would affect the pulse rate and blood pressure positively resulting in a safe decrease them both, and more energetic faster music would have the inverse effect but still be safe. The prediction was that there would be a significant increase in pulse rate and blood pressure during the fast music, and a significant decrease in pulse rate and blood pressure during the calm music. The other prediction was that the order of the music and the two different groups would not show a difference in the effect on pulse rate and blood pressure by the music.
All but two of the 2 tailed statistics T tests showed no significant effect of music on pulse rate and blood pressure. The two that had a p value <.5 results were on pulse rate with the two music types paired to the average pulse rates at rest in the first group. The p value for the t test pairing “at rest pulse rate average” and the “during metal pulse rate average” was .005455 which is a significant result. The p value for the t test paring “average pulse rate at rest” and the “during chill pulse rate average” was .015108. That is a significant result that shows there was a good decrease in pulse rate due to the slow music. This data partially supports the hypothesis proposed, however it more disproves the predictions and hypothesis made because there were only two p values that were significant and the rest did not support the hypothesis proposed.
There are several things that could have ruined the results of the experiment. The data collected was incomplete as several data points did not have data to work with. This can greatly impact the results of the t test and the averages collected. Another source of experimental error is the sphygmomanometers used were older models, and the problem with those models is that they need to be calibrated regularly and they had not, because some of the data received for blood pressure would be considered very dangerous such as diastolic pressures as low as 46 and 45, and systolic pressures as low as 91. That data collected clearly indicates that some error occurred because at rest the blood pressure should not be that low. Either user error or un-calibrated sphygmomanometers is the issue.
The results of the experiment somewhat support the results of other experiments done. The results for most experiments of seeing the effect of music on heart rate and blood pressure are in conclusive in the end. The experiment by Coutts CA had mixed results, which is similar to the experiment done in this paper. The experiment done by Kai-Lin Tseng, Chiao-Wen Lu, Chun-Yu Wu and Hwai-Ting Lin also received mixed results. There is little conclusive data that there is a significant effect of music on heart rate and pulse rate.
In the future it would be better to repeat the experiment with calibrated equipment and have the two groups in different rooms so there is little chance of outliers. Conducting the experiment before doing anything else would help to make sure the at rest pulse rates and blood pressures taken are accurate. It would be better to have a group of people who are experienced with using sphygmomanometers take the pulse and blood pressure and record the data to avoid any manipulation of the numbers by the participants.
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2. Kai-Lin Tseng, Chiao-Wen Lu, Chun-Yu Wu and Hwai-Ting Lin. Effect of Music on Cardiopulmonary Function in Cycling. Kaohsiung, Taiwan. 2001. Accessed Februrary 10, 2010. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=04967828 by CSU library search.
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