Mozart better than Bach for premature babies

3 July 2013, 10:44 | Updated: 10 July 2013, 16:18

A new study in Israel has revealed that premature newborn babies are more conducive to development if they listen to the music of Mozart rather than Bach.

The study took 12 premature babies born in the 30th week of pregnancy with a similar weight, and played them the same excerpts of music over a three-day period through earphones placed in their incubators.

They were played Mozart on the first day, Bach on the second and were left in silence on the third. The oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the incubators were monitored to give an indication of metabolic rate.

When listening to Mozart on the first day, it was found that the babies' average metabolic rate dropped by 9.7% in only half an hour, which caused them to lose fewer calories and put on weight.

Listening to Bach also had a positive result and a drop in metabolic rate, but it was only 4.5% - less than half the effect of Mozart. Babies who were exposed to silence did not experience the same result.

The study was carried out at Ichilov Hospital research and spearheaded by Professor Dror Mande. Similar studies in the past have pointed to the positive effects of babies listening to Mozart in the womb, as well as speeding up reaction times.