Music: More Relaxing than a Massage?

Marconi Union- Weightless

Generally speaking, the word innovation connotes visions of the latest Apple product or HD television.  However, a musical trio based in England called Marconi Union, is taking innovation in a very different direction. In conjunction with the Spa company Radox, the trio has composed a song that scientists and sound specialists have called, “the most relaxing song ever created.” It has been deemed so relaxing, in fact, that motorists are encouraged not to listen to it while driving. Furthermore, the song, called Weightless, has been clinically proven to be more relaxing than a massage. But how, exactly, is is such intense relaxation achieved?

In creating the track, Marconi Union consulted with Liz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, in order to build the song around ackowedleged therapuetic methods. Already a well known group in the world of ambient music, Marconi Union set out to create a song that blurs the line between nature and music. It seems they succeeded. Specialists say, “its sustaining rhythm, the harmonic intervals, the absence of a repeated melody and the use of ‘whooshing sounds and hums’ all combine to make the perfect aural narcoleptic.”

During the entire 8 minute track, no melody repeats. This technique is designed to prevent the brain from being able to predict the next note of the song, a habit which is actually stressful, contrary to popular belief. Furthermore, towards the end of the song the tempo drops from 60 bpm(beats per minute) to 50 bpm. This shift is aimed to echo the listener’s heartbeat. By the time of the shift, his or her heartbeat should be so in tune with the beat of the music, that it will actually drop with the song, intensifying relaxation.

To test the song’s effectiveness, volunteer’s stress levels were elevated through a series of timed puzzles, and immediately after completion of the puzzles, they listened to the track. It was found that their anxiety levels decreased by sixty five percent by the end of the song.

Perhaps sleeping and anxiety pills are now a thing of the past, and doctors will start prescribing Marconi Union instead.

To listen to the song, click here – just make sure that you aren’t driving.

Nicole Bennett-Fite, Editor in Chief

Posted by on October 20, 2011. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry