CAN listening to Verdi, Beethoven and Puccini help lower your blood pressure?
New research from Oxford University suggests listening to slow classical music can.
The research indicates slow music with a 10-second repetitive cycle has a noticeable calming effect on listeners because it matches the body's natural 10-second waves of blood pressure control.
"Music is already being used commercially as a calming therapy, but this has happened independent of controlled studies into its effectiveness," lead researcher Peter Sleight said.
"Our research has provided improved understanding as to how music, particularly certain rhythms, can affect your heart and blood vessels."
Works with the rhythmic pattern include Verdi compositions, the slow movements of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the arias in Puccini's opera Turandot.
The study found spoken word compositions also had a calming influence and an affect on blood pressure.
When read in Latin, the prayer Ave Maria shares the 10-second rhythm when read aloud 50 times.
Professor Sleight said further studies were needed.