Premature babies were played excerpts of Mozart and Bach while their metabolic rates were analysed.
The 12 babies were all born in the 30th week of pregnancy and were a similar birth rate. The study took place over three days. They listened to Mozart on the first day, Bach on the second day and nothing on the third day.
While listening to Mozart, their metabolic rates dropped by 9.7% in half an hour, meaning they lost fewer calories and gained weight.
Listening to Bach also had a positive result, but not as big: their metabolic rate dropped by 4.7% – half as much as Mozart.
On the third day, the babies listened to no sound and their metabolic rate did not drop.
The compositions chosen were Baby Mozart and Baby Bach.
The study was carried out by the Ichilov Hospital in Israel, led by Professor Dor Mandel, the director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and Ronit Lubetzky, the deputy director of Paediatrics.
Although the researchers admit that a study of 12 babies is not large enough, Professor Mandel says: “In our neonatal intensive care unit, when preemies don’t gain enough weight, I recommend to their mothers that they expose them to Mozart in an effort to improve their condition.”