The Easy Way to Lower your Blood Pressure

Eons ago, back when I was thirteen, I visited a record store with some friends from high school. There was never much music in our house, and if I listened to anything, it was rock and roll.

Nonetheless, in a pretentious, fateful move, I bought Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony for no better reason than his ancestors were from Belgium, as mine were. (And, being too young to realize Beethoven didn’t impress teenagers, to show off to my friends.)

Where a musician hangs his hat. I've was given this bust of Beethoven for my 14th birthday.

Where a musician hangs his hat. I’ve was given this bust of Beethoven for my 14th birthday. My sister embroidered the picture of woodwinds.

When I got home, I fell in love with the symphony–and symphony orchestras in general–and the rest is (personal) history. For over thirty years, I’ve been the principal oboist of one orchestra or another in the US or Canada. Thank you, Ludwig Van B!

But here’s something I didn’t know about classical music:

Doctors could prescribe music to beat heart disease, after research found recordings by Verdi, Beethoven and Puccini can lower the blood pressure.

A study by Oxford University suggests that compositions which match the rhythm of the body could be used to control the heart.

Research presented to the the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester found that listening to music with a repeated 10-second rhythm coincided with a fall in blood pressure, reducing the heart rate.

Here’s the rest of the article.

And here, just because I want all  my readers to have low blood pressure, here is the movement from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony researchers used in their study. Enjoy it–and calm yourself down!

Now that you’re all calm and your blood pressure’s low, here’s a blatant commercial:

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3 comments

  1. Interesting about the blood pressure- I generally find Beethoven symphonies to be on the exhilarating side. Though that’s good for you too! 🎶

    1. The researchers focus on the adagio of Beethoven’s Ninth, though don’t ask me how they selected that movement. It has something to do with the rhythm, I suppose. Certainly the fast movements are more likely to set your toes tapping than to lower your blood pressure.

      1. That makes sense. Honestly, just about any Mozart slow movement turns me all squishy inside. That’s where I go when I need to settle down. 💆

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