In Siena, Italy wine maker Carlo Cignozzi plays Mozart, Beethoven and even some Mahler over loud speakers to his grapes. Daft you say? Well,
according to Cignozzi, playing Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ and Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons,’ his grapes matured within 10 to 14 days, instead of the usual 20 days. The alcohol content also became higher due to the faster growth. Another interesting discovery that came to his attention was the decrease in bacteria, molds and parasites. One year of playing some of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies had also driven away deer and other nighttime predators from the vineyard.
We are familiar with the idea that classical music can improve our brain activity, and influence our emotions. But plants? Research studies at the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Suwon, South Korea examined the effect of 14 different classical pieces including Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in rice fields. They found that the music helped plants grow at a faster pace, and is evidence that plants have genes that enable them to “hear.”
Plants respond to sounds in profound ways that not only influence their overall health but also increase the speed of growth and size of the plant. It has been determined through repetitive testing by scientists that plants do respond to music and sound. Many high school students have done simple experiments with plants and music; all produce the same result: plants are affected by music.
So, how do your plants look? Perhaps playing some quiet classical music might perk them up, particularly if they are subjected to many sound pollutants like noisy TVs, radios, kids toys, video games, and hard rock music. Research indicates that playing hard rock music to plants stunts their growth! What do you think it might be doing to your pets!
Most new pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are tested first on mice as their biological systems are close to ours. An enterprising high school student examined the effect of music on mice running through a maze. For 3 weeks, 10 hours a day, David Merrell played Mozart to one group, hard rock music to a second group, and no music to the third group. By the end, the mice that had heard no music had managed to cut their time in half, averaging five minutes to complete the maze, simply as a result of regular practice. The mice that had listened to Mozart averaged an impressive one and a half minutes. For the mice that had listened to hard rock, navigating the maze had become more difficult and their original average time tripled to a staggering 30 minutes! Also worthy of note is the fact that David had tried to conduct a similar experiment the previous year, but cut it short when the hard rock mice killed each other off.
There is much research of late focused on the use of music to calm pets. And not just any music will do! You can read more in the article Healing Music and Sounds for Pets in this blog.