The Brunello vineyard in Tuscany, Italy, plays Mozart to its grapes all day. We have all heard, at one time or another, that music can affect plants, but is that true? The jury is still out, but there is an increasing body of evidence that shows that music does indeed affect the way plants grow. The Cignozzi family believes it. They had noticed that the vines that were closer to the speakers were the most robust, and after doing some studies, they found that the grapes produced by those vines had a higher sugar content.
Coincidence? Maybe not. Many studies have been done on plants and their interaction to music. Plants put in a room with classical music tended to grow towards and entwine themselves around the speakers, producing lush growth, while plants put in a room with rock music grow less well, and grow away from them, even to the extent of trying to climb up a glass wall to “get away”.
Crops subjected to classical music are increased in vigor as much as 60% in some studies, and even seeds can be affected, producing stronger plants if they have been played music “in the womb”. Classical, jazz, “baroque lento” music and certain types of Indian music seems to have the greatest effect, while rock-type music has the most detrimental.
Why is this? Put very simply, (and this is a far from simple discussion) plants don’t respond to the brand of music, per se, they respond to the vibrations that the music creates. Every plant cell contains protoplasm, the jelly-like substance that surrounds the organelles and holds them in place. The vibrations cause waves in the protoplasm, and the wave is what affects the plant. Classical music tends to produce gentle waves in the protoplasm that massage the organelles, stimulating them into greater productivity. The waves of rock music, in contrast, are much more choppy and “violent”, and can hinder an organelle’s productivity or even damage it. That is why, in a number of studies, many plants have died when exposed to this “rougher” music.
This is, admittedly, an over-simplified synopsis of a very complex and interesting discussion. For more information, you can read a book by Dorothy Retallack called The Sound of Music and Plants, or check out a number of the studies that have been done to date that are available online. Click here to read more about the Brunello vineyard. Click here for an interesting article on studies that have been done.
If anyone has had any experience with music and plant growth, positive or negative, let us know – We would love to hear about it!