Danforth Music Hall

The Effect of Music on Plants

by info on February 26, 2014

How does music effect plants? Like many people know, sound is a wave, specifically a pulse wave. What this means is that sound is formed by higher and lower fluxes in air pressure. This knowledge makes it difficult to believe scientifically that music would have any effect on plants. Various science fair projects and other scientific research shows music’s effects on plant life to be subtle at best. Science so far has shown that there can be little difference to a plant between music and plain ambient noise. The most logical explanation scientists can come up with for the subtle effects music seems to have on plants actually appears to come more from the plant’s human caretakers.

Many already know from school what exactly music is in science. Music is made up of sound, which is a pulse wave by nature. What this means is that higher and lower atmospheric pressures form sound and act as a conduit through which sound travels. Music is made from a collection of various amplitudes of sound.

An amplitude itself refers to the plot of air pressure when matched against time on a graph. As the fluctuations in air pressure that cause music are generally very small, it is difficult for scientists to believe that these could have any effect on plant growth because there is very little difference between music and plain ambient noise to a plant.

Various scientific research has been done regarding the question of “how does music effect plants?” Many science fair projects have been done regarding this topic and official scientific research has been done on this topic as well. All research shows little if any effect on the plants exposed to music. However these subtle differences in growth have been taken into account and questioned. It is likely that sound waves may have a subtle effect on plant growth through changes in air pressure but this is difficult to test. Not only are there too many variables affecting plant growth that would need to be controlled but there are also questions on how to treat negative control.

Would testers simply have to put it in a sound-proof container? If so, how else is this container going to effect the growth of the plant? The subject simply has not been scientifically verified It is possible as well that the subtle changes noticed in plant growth while exposed to music may simply result from the caretaker of the plant. In an experiment, plants exposed to different kinds of music may receive different care than the plants not exposed. Plants do not have ears or a brain for music to influence, but humans do. So how does music effect plants? We may never know. Science has yet to bring about a definite answer. Thus far, there is no evidence that plants can be influenced by music, but there are subtle effects noise has been shown to have on them. Then again, this evidence may simply be proving just how easily humans are influenced by music, allowing those preforming the experiment to alter their treatment of the plants accordingly.

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