Bach better than Bee Gees for babies in the womb
Foetuses are happier listening to classical music than contemporary songs, say researchers
Playing Mozart to unborn babies is most likely to keep them happy in the womb, but Adele and the Bee Gees should be avoided, according to a new study.
Research by fertility doctors has found that, overall, foetuses prefer classical music to contemporary songs.
Bach’s flute sonata and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from the ninth sympathy were also found to elicit happy, contented responses.
However, Someone Like You by Adele and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody scored lowest.Scientists at the Institut Marquès in Barcelona studied the mouth and tongue movements of more than 300 foetuses between 18 and 38 weeks into gestation.
The babies were each exposed to a mix of 15 different songs in the classical, traditional world music and pop or rock categories.
The genre that caused the greatest level of reaction was classical music (84%), followed by traditional music (79%) and pop-rock (59%).
It is very unusual for these types of movements to be carried out by a foetus during the second and third trimester of pregnancy without a stimulus such as music, the researchers said.
They argued that the study proves music is capable of prompting neurological stimulation, activating the brain areas related to language and communication.Dr Marisa López-Teijón, the director of Institut Marquès, said: “Music is a form of ancestral communication between humans. The communication through sounds, gestures and dances preceded the spoken language.
“The first language was more musical than verbal, and it still is; we still tend instinctively to speak in a high-pitched voice, because we know that newborns perceive those better, and this way they understand that we want to communicate with them.”
Lopez-Teijon’s team also play classical music to embryos that have undergone IVF fertilisation, saying it increases the chances of success by up to 5%.
– © The Daily Telegraph