Music introduces changes in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Such changes is related to the rhythm. The tempo of the music is more important than the style of music or an individual's music preference.
In a study, 24 healthy participants whose breathing rate, blood pressure, and other heart and respiratory parameters were monitored, before and while listening to different kinds of music and during 2-minute intermissions. Half of the participants were trained musicians while the other half had no musical training.
The participants, especially the trained ones, experienced increased blood pressure, accelerated breathing and heart rate when the music played was of faster rhythm. But during pauses and music of slower rhythms was played, relaxation was induced and their breathing and heart rate were slow. The relaxation effect was even more evident during pauses.
The study thus suggested that suitable selection of music, alternating slow and fast rhythms interspersed with pauses, can be used to induce relaxation that may be beneficial in modulating stress in heart disease and stroke.