The effect of playing a stringed-instrument ensemble on autonomic nerve function

      Purpose: It is well known that music has good influence on health. However, the mechanism of how music affects physiological function is not understood clearly. Therefore, we studied the effect of playing stringed-instrument ensemble on autonomic nerve function. Method: Subjects are nine undergraduate (UG) (20.8 + -1.0 years)and seven graduate students(GS)(25.5 + -1.9) at a music college. Their speciality is stringed-instrument; violins(n = 8), Violas(4), cellos(3), and contrabass (1). While they played the string quartet of Mozart, their ECG and spirogram were recorded by using LS-300 (Fukuda, Japan). We calculated heart rate variability (HF and LF/HF) by frequency analysis of R-R interval of ECG. Result: The heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) at rest were not different between US and GS (HR: 75 + -10 vs 74 + -4/min) and (RR: 17 + -2 vs 15 + -4/min). The GS’s HR, RR, and HF showed the periodicity fluctuation at the time of play (average HR; 86 + -6/min, RR;26 + -3/min, HF;149 + -154mS2) and rest (73 + -4, 14 + -2, 683 + -392). The periodicity fluctuation of HR and RR was not observed in the US. Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that respiratory rhythm under playing stringed-instruments synchronized HR in the advanced players, but not in undergraduate students. Since respiration can be adjusted in voluntary, it was suggested that circulation rhythm might be able to adjust in semi-voluntary by RR. No COI.
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