Listening to J.S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major” May Suppress the Sympathetic Nervous Activity

Junko Hoshi, Konosuke Sasaki, Ryoko Maruyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate the effects of listening to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Sonata for two pianos in D major, K448” and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Brandenburg concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV1049” on the heart rate, blood pressure, and autonomic nervous activity. Seventeen healthy young adults were recruited as participants. All participants underwent a 10-minute rest, a 10-minute load test, and a triplicate 8-minute music listening process. Electrocardiograms were continuously measured from the measurement onset to completion. Moreover, the high-frequency (HF) component was extracted from the heart rate variability analysis as a measure of the parasympathetic nervous activity and the ratio of low frequency (LF) to HF as a measure of the sympathetic nervous activity. Blood pressure was also measured. There was a significant decrease in the heart rate after listening to both K448 and BWV1049, as well as in the silence state. Blood pressure did not significantly change in either case. Further, the LF/ HF ratio significantly decreased after listening to BWV1049. Nevertheless, HF did not change after listening to either music. In conclusion, this study suggests that listening to K448 does not affect the heart rate, blood pressure, or autonomic nervous activity, whereas listening to BWV1049 may suppress the sympathetic nervous activity in healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • autonomic nervous activity
  • Bach’s music
  • effect of music
  • healthy young adults
  • Mozart’s music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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