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13 June 2018, 12:05
A new study has found foetuses prefer listening to classical music over contemporary pop songs.
Research by fertility doctors shows that overall, babies prefer listening to classical music than pop songs in the womb.
Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ from his Symphony No. 9 and Bach’s Sonata for flute, among others, elicited the happiest responses.
Meanwhile, songs like Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ saw the lowest level of response.
Scientists at the Institute Marques in Barcelona studied the mouth and tongue movements of over 300 unborn babies, aged between 18 and 38 weeks.
The foetuses were exposed to a range of 15 songs which fell into the following categories: classical, traditional world music, and pop or rock.
Classical music caused the greatest level of reaction (84 per cent), followed by traditional music (79 per cent) and pop or rock music (59 per cent).
Researchers said it is very unusual for these movements to happen during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy without a stimulus such as music.
The study proves that music is capable of stimulating neurological activity, triggering areas of the brain linked to language and communication.
Dr. Marisa López-Teijón, Director of Institut Marquès, told The Telegraph: “Music is a form of ancestral communication between humans, the communication through sounds, gestures and dances preceded the spoken language.
“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.”
Dr López-Teijón’s team also tried playing classical music to embryos which have undergone IVF fertilisation.
They said it increases chances of success by up to five per cent.