Music is known to have a profound effect on human beings. Plants are also living objects that breathe and grow. Some scientists are of the opinion that plants are devoid of a nervous system and therefore are unable to understand music or respond to music. However, there are a few studies which suggest that music may have distinct effect on plants. Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose was one of the pioneers to study the behavior of plants in response to various stimuli.
Music is a harmonious and coherent blend of various frequencies and vibrations and has many different forms, qualities, and pitches. It is believed that loud and unharmonious sounds can ruin the mood and health of a plant and blossoms. Soft rhythmic music on the other hand is better for their growth and blossoms, and thus may increase plants? rate of growth, their size and influence their overall health.
When it comes to understanding the effects of music on plant growth, it appears that it is not so much about the “sounds” of the music, but more to do with the vibrations created by the sound waves.
In simple terms, the vibrations produce movement in plant cells, which stimulates the plants to produce more nutrients.
Sound, Music and Standing Waves
In a musical scale, every note has its own frequency value. Ratio of the frequencies of two notes determines the musical interval which describes the difference between two notes. Music that is pleasant to the ears is usually a combination of simple frequency ratios. A musical note in a given scale played sequentially generates melody. When sound waves propagate through air, it leads to air pressure disturbance.
Thus, vibrations from tuning fork, musical instruments, diaphragm of a loudspeaker, vocal cords, etc. create air pressure disturbances of the corresponding frequency and intensity. Basically, two conditions that are required for the generation and propagation of sound waves are a vibratory disturbance of frequencies in the audible frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and an elastic medium. Speed, pitch, loudness, quality or timbre characterizes sound waves.
Music is created in different instruments by forming standing waves. Whenever two waves with equal frequency and wavelength moving through a medium perfectly reinforce each other, standing waves result. Standing waves can occur in all elastic media and are created in the guitar strings, skin of the drumhead, column of air in flute, etc. Whenever, a note is played in a musical instrument, a medium vibrates due to which the sound is produced.
Frequency of the desired note is the fundamental frequency caused by the first mode of vibration. Interestingly, many higher modes of vibration always naturally occur at the same time when a specific note is played. Fundamental frequency and all its overtones together produce the sound of the desired musical note. Overtones are the integral multiples of the fundamental frequency and all have different intensities – lower than that of the fundamental frequency.
Fundamental and the overtones are also referred as harmonics. The frequencies of harmonics form an arithmetic sequence. Fundamentally, certain frequencies are associated with different musical notes. For example, frequency of the middle C on the piano keyboard has a frequency of approximately 262 Hz.
Growth in Living Organisms
An irreversible permanent increase in size, volume or mass of a cell or entire organism is termed as growth. All living organisms including plants experience growth. At a cellular level, growth is generally regarded as a consequence of increase in the amount of protoplasm measuring which directly is difficult.
So, growth is measured in terms of parameters like increase in weight, length, area, volume, cell number, etc. Increase in growth per unit time defines growth rate. Per unit time growth can also be expressed in terms of initial parameters, thus, accounting for relative growth measurement. Cell division leads to growth of plant; and nucleus, chloroplast, vacuoles and ribosomes play an important role in this process.
This study was conducted at Barangay Labuyo, Tangub City, Misamis Ocidental for three weeks. In this study, observation method was created to analyze the effects of music on plants.
Materials and Methods
Marigold belongs to the genus Tagetes and specifically, it can be T. erecta, T. patula and T. tenuifolia, where T stands for Tagetes. This investigation was divided into three sub-groups. Each sub-group chose a specific type of acoustic frequency. They were „Rock Music?„Melodious Music? and „Noise?.
For every sub-group, two plants, approximately less than 12inches in height were taken in two different pots and all the basic conditions required for plant growth, like air, water, light, fertilizer, etc. were kept similar. One pot was chosen as „Treatment plant? (marked T) and the other as „Control plant? (marked C).
Every day, the selected type of sound was repeatedly played for four hours to the plant marked „T? and during this period, the other plant marked „C? was not exposed to any specific audio wave. This method was continued for three weeks on each of the three sets of plants. The growth pattern of every plant was monitored regularly, once every week, according to certain parameters like height attained, number of buds and flowers that appeared along with the general growth. Growth of leaves was also assessed in terms of their numbers and size.
Result and Discussion
With Melodious music, it was observed that the rate in gain of height attained by the treated marigold plant (T) was better than the one not treated. Number of buds and number of flowers were always higher on the treated plant. A particular leaf marked on each plant to monitor the growth also showed a higher gain in its length and hence in its area with exposure to music. In Fig. 1 below, the photographs of the „Control plant (C)? and „Treatment plant (T)? for Melodious Music are shown.
Week 0 week 1 week 2-3
Fig. 1 Various Stages of the Marigold Plant Set exposed to Melodious Music
Similarly on exposure to rock music, the different factors that are selected as attributes of growth, i.e. height attained, numbers of buds and flowers, including the leaf length are always higher in the treatment marigold plant. So, it is observed that in general, the growth observed in the plant listening to music (T) is faster and better than the one not listening to the music (C). Fig. 2 displays the pictures of the „Control plant (C)? and „Treatment plant (T)? for Rock Music.
Week 0 week 1 week 2-3
Fig. 2 Various Stages of the Marigold Plant Set exposed to Rock Music
Under the exposure to noise, both treatment and control marigold plants showed similar growth patterns in the beginning, but second week onwards number of buds slightly decreased in the treated (T) plant. In the third and fourth weeks, there was a considerable reduction in the growth rate of the plant exposed to noise in terms of lesser number of buds, flowers and growth of leaf.
The plant treated with noise finally started drying during the fourth week as is apparent from the snapshots of the plant exposed to noise (T) and the respective control plant shown in Fig. 3. The plant exposed to noise tried to bend away from the direction the noise was coming from and was greener towards the farther side from the noise suggesting the plant?s aversion to noise.
Week 0 week 1 week 2-3
Fig. 3 Various Stages of the Marigold Plant Set exposed to Noise
Summing up all the experimental observations of various workers, it can be stated that specific audio frequencies in the form of music facilitated the germination and growth of plants, irrespective of the music genre. The study of the researcher is in line with the similar observations noted by several other researchers in this domain as has been discussed. On the other hand noise which is a non-rhythmic and unharmonious superposition of various audio frequencies was observed to have a negative effect on the growth of plants.
The increased rate of growth in terms of more flowers, leaves, buds etc. suggests that specific audible frequencies including music can benefit the agricultural sector by increasing the productivity. Simultaneously, this might reduce the requirement of toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides and thus, reduce environmental pollution and facilitate the well-being of plants, animals and human beings.
First and foremost, praises and thanks to the God, the Almighty, for His showers of blessings throughout my research work to complete the research successfully.
I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to my research instructor, Mr. Milben A. Jumamil, for giving me the opportunity to do research and providing invaluable guidance throughout this research. His sincerity and motivation have deeply inspired me. He has thought me the results and discussion to explain more and to present the research work as clearly as possible. I am extremely grateful for what he has offered me. I would like to thank for his friendship, empathy, and great sense of humor.
I am extremely grateful to my parents for their love, prayers, caring and sacrifices for educating and preparing me for my future. I am very much thankful. Also I express my thanks to my brothers for their support and for keen interest shown to complete this research successfully.
I would like to say thanks to my friends for all their help, for their constant encouragement and for their genuine support throughout this research. Finally, my thanks go to all the people who have supported me to complete the research work directly or indirectly.
- M.J.M. Martens and A. Michelsen” Absorption of acoustic energy by plants leaves” J. Acoust. Soc. Am.,vol. pp. 303-306, 1981
Cite this essay
Music. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/music-new-essay