For centuries, humans have sought to find better ways in improving farming, essentially growing crops faster, whilst boosting profitability. Today, this dream is a reality thanks to music!
The effects of music on human performances have been studied across many disciplines, for many years. It was discovered that listening to music releases dopamine, a mood enhancing chemical in our body which increases activity in the areas of our brain associated with rewards and pleasure. Music also has the ability to improve your mood and diminish any negative feelings. In fact, listening to preferred music has a powerful influence on mental exertion and our self-assessment of a task’s performance. Scientific findings show the effects of music genuinely making people more productive as a result of them being in a better mood, bringing sharper concentration and amplifying our alert thinking.
I would say the notion that music can influence your brain probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but I am confident the effects are even more powerful and wide reaching than you might assume. Given that this special combination of pitch and rhythmic vibrations affects our whole body, can it make plants grow with the beat too?
Music consists of sound waves that oscillate at varying frequencies within the audible range of our ear. It creates a pressure variation that is interpreted as sound by our ears and then recognised as music. When a plant is exposed to the same music, it also receives the same sound waves and could in fact be hearing the sound, and amazingly responding to it.
So, how can plants respond to sound without an organ for actually processing the sound? The reality is the plants would not ‘hear’ the music, but feel the vibrations of the sound waves themselves. It has been proven that the sound vibrations provide a special stimulus to plants, unlike mechanical vibrations. It was reported that these sound vibration increased the rate of growth by changing the cell metabolism of yeast as well.
To demonstrate the positive effects of music on plants, researchers and experts conducted many studies. Recently, a study published in Shiraz E-Medical Journal has demonstrated that musical stimulation improves plant growth.
The research examined the effects of music on plant growth by designing and developing an app that can monitor acoustic features (frequency range, intensity of sound, etc.). The results has shown that music affects the process of germination, growth and development of plants. With further evidence suggesting that sound waves can cause the production of more resistant and healthier plants.
Another interesting fact about this topic includes the impact of different music genres on plant growth. The plant growth actually depends on what type of music is played! Among different types of music, soft music has a greater effect. It makes plants give off more oxygen therefore, the amount of Carbon Dioxide received increases. This will improve plant performance as well as flowering time and rate. On the other side, heavier music like heavy metal or rock is not the best genre for plants, in fact having a negative effect on plant growth, with rock music resulting in shorter plants. The sound of music causes vibrations which produce movement in the plant, this then creates pressure that stimulates the plant growth.
While the study suggests music could serve as a powerful fertilizer to increase plant nutrients and the growth of plants, more research is needed to understand how plants initially perceive sound, and what side effects are expected with the use of this new trigger.
Soukaina, Consultant, Leyton France
Read more on the same subject: