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Playing Mozart may keep babies in the womb happy

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Playing Mozart to unborn babies is most likely to keep them happy in the womb, say scientists who have found that foetuses prefer classical to contemporary songs.

Bach's sonata for flute as well as Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' from the ninth symphony were also found to elicit happy responses. However, 'Someone Like You' by Adele, as well as Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' scored lowest.

Scientists at the in in studied the mouth and tongue movements of more than 300 foetuses between 18 and 38 weeks gestation, reported.

The babies were exposed each to a mixture of 15 different songs, falling into categories: classical, traditional world music, and pop or rock.

The genre which caused the greatest level of reaction was classical music, 84 per cent, followed by traditional music, 79 per cent, and last but not least pop rock 59 per cent.

It is very unusual for these types of movements to be carried out by foetus during the second and third trimester of pregnancy without a stimulus such as music, researchers said.

The study proves music is capable of prompting neurological stimulation, activating the brain areas related to language and communication.

"Music is a form of ancestral communication between humans, the communication through sounds, gestures and dances preceded the spoken language," said Marisa Lopez-Teijon, of Institut Marques.

"The first language was more musical than verbal, and it still is; we still tend instinctively to speak in a high pitched voice, because we know that newborn perceive those better, and this way they understand that we want to communicate with them," Lopez-Teijon said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 13:50 IST