A significant research that correlates perception of music with positive impact on life expectancy has been published in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Studies of Spiritual Traditions, their Specific Cultures and Interreligious Dialogue Professor Dimitri Spivak at the St.Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research. Preliminary findings show statistical significance when comparing the types of music. The article abstract is as follows:
The paper presents preliminary results of a complex study of psychological aspects of perception of music and their molecular biological correlates. 65 normal, young, Russian-speaking urban dwellers were
divided into 3 subgroups, one of which passed a course of light classical music, another one of modern designer music, the third one of sounds of nature. The former type of music was regarded as belonging to cultural heritage of the subjects (‘traditional music’), the latter one, as not belonging to it (‘non-traditional’one), the third type of audiostimuli was used as control. The course consisted in listening to the music of a definite type for 2 weeks, 90 minutes a day. Each subject was examined twice, e.g. prior to the course, and right after it. Psychological survey comprised 6 questionnaires, revealing levels of mood and neuroticization, levels of activation basic psychological defense mechanisms and strategies of stress coping, intrinsic religiosity, and features of altered states of consciousness, temporarily induced in the service of the ego. Details of biography and of anamnesis were registered simultaneously. In each case, samples of blood (5 ml) were taken, which allowed us to conduct study of molecular biological correlates of the psychological shifts, at the level of such stress markers as telomere length, and telomerase activity, often regarded as predictors of life expectancy. In processing the samples, contemporary hi-tech methodologies were applied, primarily real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by R.Cawthon. As a result, telomere length was proved to increase in the case of the subgroup which passed a course of traditional music, and to fall in the case of the control subgroup. The difference between them was statistically significant. The ‘non-traditional’ subgroup proved to occupy intermediate position between the ‘traditional’ one, and the control subgroup; no statistically significant differences were found in this case. As a result, perception of ‘traditional’ music was tentatively linked to stress reduction, and to an increase in life expectancy. This major shift was most possibly supported by general decrease of tension of such primitive strategies of coping with stress as avoidance, and confrontation. Judging by absolute values, these psychological shifts took place in the intervals which were proper for norms. At the same time they were statistically significant.
Reference: Spivak, I. et al. (2018), ‘Perception of Traditional \ Non-traditional Music and its Influence upon Life Expectancy: Preliminary Report. Article 1: Telomere Length’, Theory of Art 1(30), pp. 198-208.
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