That's according to MSNBC.com. They say music from a harp is so soothing, many people are putting it to work – on animals!
Consider the case of Alianna Boone. She’s a musician who recorded a CD called “Harp Music to Soothe the Savage Beast.” Back in 2000, she conducted an experiment where she played her harp for a clinic full of hospitalized dogs. Immediately, vets found the dogs experienced lower heart rates, less anxiety, and better respiration. There’s also a farmer in Massachusetts named Tracie Russell. She works at a sanctuary for unwanted livestock who have anxiety-related behavior problems. She reports that within 20 minutes of playing a CD of harp songs, one of her 15-hundred pound cows transformed from a snorting, stomping beast – to a gently sleeping bovine. There’s even a zoo in Boston, whose workers were stunned to see a cage full of rambunctious gorillas drift off to sleep, after a quartet played harp music nearby.
So what is it about the harp that stirs up so many animal miracles? Diane Schneider, a classical musician who trained at the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music, believes – in humans and in animals – certain harp vibrations resonate directly with the body’s cells. Those vibrations help release tension in muscle tissue, calm anxiety, improve digestion, or induce sleep. Also, music in general is known to release endorphins in the brain – a pleasure chemical which can reduce pain, and help the body heal itself.
Schneider cautions it’s not “a magic bullet”. In other words, harp music won’t calm the nerves of ALL animals. For those cats, dogs, gorillas and cows that it DOES work for, it seems to work very well. So the next time you bring Rover to the vet, try playing him a harp music CD on the ride over. He’ll be the calmest canine in the room!