Cello Good, Trumpet Bad?

From a study by Mamedova, Leyla; Metin, Işın;Ekici, Nuran; Huseyinov, Murad; Huseyinova, Gulara; and Kanter, Mehmet:

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of musical sound from different instruments (cello, piano and trumpet) on the skeletal muscle cells with using electron microscopy methods. Twenty guinea pigs were used in this study. Guinea pigs were separated into four groups. I. Group – 5 guinea pigs called control group. Nothing was done to this group. II. Group-during 10 days they affected with Mozart and Vivaldi played with cello, III. Group-the same opus from Mozart and Vivaldi played with piano, IV. Group-the same opus from Mozart and Vivaldi played with trumpet for 6 h a day with 15 min intervals. After 10 days, biopsy materials of skeletal muscle were taken from the guinea pigs. Conventional electron microscopy methods were used for evaluation. The electron micrographs showed that the macromolecules of the muscle cells taken from cello group were generally normal as in the control group. Reversible changes (swelling of mitochondria, vacuolization, strained myofibrils and destruction, activation of nuclei, increase of chromatin material and nucleoli) were detected in the piano group. Irreversible and degenerative changes (nuclei with rough chromatin, smashing and loss of nuclei and organelles, smashing of shortened and strained myofibrils) were detected in trumpet group. According to this study, cello timbres are similar to human voice and they affected better on skeletal muscle cells. In conclusion, cello timbres can be used in musical therapy.

Just when you were thinking that the research into music couldn’t get any stranger, here it is: cello music promotes normal skeletal muscle cells; piano music causes reversible changes; and trumpet music gives you irreversible damage. (Full disclosure: I used to date a trumpet player. I withhold comment.) I have no idea what this means for trumpet players, as this study was performed on guinea pigs, but certainly the next step is to find cellists, pianists and trumpeters and take a look at their skeletal muscle cells. And for those parents who think that learning any instrument is the same as learning any other instrument, I suggest you rethink the philosophy. Not that the world doesn’t need trumpeters, but . . .

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