Sunday, 4 May 2008

Gregorian Chant & Stress

Monks help to prove that chanting can relieve stress

THE centuries-old practice of Gregorian chanting could help combat stress.

Researchers found that regular breathing and musical structure have a positive impact .Alan Watkins, a neuroscience lecturer who also runs a company which helps executives perform under stressful conditions, said teaching people to control their breathing helped their emotional states.

Dr Watkins, senior lecturer in Neuroscience at Imperial College London, said: "We have recently carried out research that demonstrates that the regular breathing and musical structure of chanting can have a significant and positive physiological impact."The research involved five monks having their heart rate and blood pressure measured throughout 24 hours.

They were asked to go about their usual day. Their heart rate and blood pressure dipped to its lowest point in the day when chanting.

You can read the full article here


Anonymous said...

I like to listen to Gregorian chant (and sing it, naturally); do you have any good CDs you could recommend?

John Paul said...

To be honest it's very hard to find them, even in classical music shops. The best I've found is St. Mungos shop in St. Mungos at Townhead in Glasgow run by the passionists. Fantastic parish and fantastic community of priests. Colin who works there will be able to tell you all sorts. Just give them a ring. Colin is also in the Scola for Glasgow.

Anonymous said...

It's not the chant in itself though. If you sing chant the way you hear it on some CDs of polyphony, or the way it was done in my college choir, it involves no less exertion than big set pieces - in fact, the polyphony was considerably less "forced". And if you read the office in private in the same way, not singing, it is even more "relaxing".