Article excerpted from “Band creates the ‘most relaxing tune ever”:
“Carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines help to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
“The song makes use of many musical principles that have been shown to individually have a calming effect. By combining these elements in the way Marconi Union have has created the perfect relaxing song… It contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure.
The harmonic intervals – or gaps between notes – have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next. Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants. High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state.”
She added: “Sound therapy has been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being. Music was at the heart of healing and worship among indigenous cultures.”
Dr David Lewis-Hodgson, from Mindlab International, which conducted the research, said: “The results clearly show that the track induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. “In fact, Weightless was so effective, many women became drowsy and I would advise against driving while listening to the song because it could be dangerous.”