Music has some astonishing benefits to humans – from hastening the healing process to calming the mind to simply providing relaxation. Music has also seen to be helpful even in animals such as taming the wild, understanding their behavior and improving animal health. And we continue to uncover amazing benefits that these sweet serenades offer. With all these surprising benefits, we can say that music is a universal language that all living creatures are free to enjoy and benefit from.
There’s one myth that many people have long been fascinated about — music can produce better plants. The question is: Is there truth in it or is it just a myth?
The earliest theory that linked music and plant growth dates back to 1848 in a book published by a German professor. In this book, the author theorized that playing music can help plants grow better. It was so convincing that even the esteemed London Royal Philharmonic released an album (The Flora Seasons: Music To Grow To) dedicated to plants.
To date, the science world remains at a quandary regarding this theory. While an LED grow light bought at Plantozoid.com can guarantee a good yield, scientists remain skeptical as to the effects of playing music on the background. There are, however, some studies in the past that have shown the connection between plant growth and music.
In 1973, Dorothy Retallack, an American researcher in Colorado, studied two samples of identical plants. In one sample group, easy listening music played at the background, while in the other group, rock music was played. In her study, Retallack found that the group with easy listening fared better than the other group. The first group grew better, healthier and taller, and leaned in towards the origin of sound. Meanwhile, the second sample group that had hard rock music tended to lean away from the sound, some plants even dying prematurely.
In a study conducted in the University of Arizona, the researchers studied four groups of sprouting seeds were placed in strictly controlled environments – one silent, one with energy healing music that was played 15-20 minutes per day, one with music, and another with low frequency noise. In this study, the sample group that was exposed to music was perkier than those without any music at all.
The same convincing result was also arrived at in a paper published by South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology. A more intensive study, it revealed that even conversation-level music could alter two genes that played a role in plant’s response to light.
The same findings have been echoed by an experiment shown in an episode of Myth Busters. In this episode, it showed that the plants that got music grew better and even found that heavy metal music worked the best.
But not all studies consider that music has positive effects on plants. In a study published in Pennsylvania State, the results showed that while music may be related to the growth of the plants, it was only like any other external stimuli, such as wind, and that plants do not respond solely on the music. The study asserts that music was just another source of vibration. This is similar with the article published by the Science World Report that says music could provide vibrational frequencies that help a plant’s photosynthesis process.
While the question still remains, the researchers at Penn State correctly underscore the importance of ensuring adequate light, nutrition and water in the optimum growth of plants.