There are many different viewpoints on this. A selection of contributors' thoughts are included below.
Many scientific studies have been done regarding the effects of music on plants. The simple answer is that past studies have suggested hard rock or heavy metal
music seems to have a detrimental effect on plant growth.
There is a well-known study from the early 1970s, conducted by Dorothy Retallack at the Colorado Woman's College in Denver using the college's three Biotronic Control Chambers. In one series of studies, the tone of F sound was played daily for three hours a day, intermittently in one laboratory, it was played for eight hours a day, constantly, and the control group had no sound introduced. Those plants where the F tone was played intermittingly for 3 hours a day grew twice as large and were twice as healthy as those in a sound-free environment. However, plants in the laboratory where the tone of Fconstantly for 8 hours daily died within two weeks of the experiment's beginning. Dorothy used a growing chamber, a variety of plant species (but the same in each chamber) and made sure the volume was consistent for all forms of music.
Different types of music were then utilized in her following experiments. She tried acid rock music by Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge, and Hendrix. It was played to one group of plants and semi-pop music (of the 1970's) to another. The "acid rock music" plants were sickly and small compared to the control group of "semi popular" music (now termed soft rock).
The other genres of music she experimented with: were classical music (Debussy), jazz (she use Louis Armstrong among others), and Indian (Ravi Shankar). The plants grew large and healthy, with the plants actually growing towards the radio for each of these three forms of music, just like they bend towards sunlight. Dorothy also experimented with country music (such as Jonny Cash) and found they neither grew toward or away from the speakers and seemed neutral. While Dorothy did have a personal bias and by the end of her research she believed plants could feel and were capable of ESP. She felt perhaps it was the lyrics that the plants didn't like with the acid rock music.
It seems the plants like all types of music, except hard, pounding rhythms, but prefer stringed instruments the most. They also didn't like a constant tone played for 8 hours per day, but how many of us do!
Effective experiments need to involve the following factors, which Dorothy tried to maintain, but failed to measure the water and soil moisture with an accurate device:
- the same plant types across the different conditions
- a variety of species across the different conditions
- music volume would need to be maintained at a consistent level
- strict controls on all other external factors, e.g. light, warmth, etc
- consistency of human interaction across the different conditions
Mythbusters have come up with a different result. Their experiments suggested that heavy metal seems to stimulate growth more than other types of music. The culprit is likely the rapid vibration that encourages activity. Perhaps these results could be pursued by searching the Mythbusters website on Discoverychannel.
The effect is the same as random noise, i.e. just the physical stress of sound. Music as such has no effect because:
1) Plants are not intelligent. In fact, they don't have a central nervous system. Music can only affect you if you understand it, and plants can't understand anything.
2) Plants have no auditory organs. They can't hear any more than you could hear through your skin if you had no ears.
If you look this up on the net, you'll see plenty of small scale experiments with positive results. Unfortunately, these experiments are fatally flawed in several ways. First, they are typically done with just 3 or 4 plants, and with such a small sample size any difference is likely to be from random chance. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the control is silent when it should be random noise with the same frequency spectrum and periodicity as the music. This is the only way to test the effects of music as such, not just the effects of sound. When the experiment is done with a good sample size (thousands of plants) and controlled properly, the results may well be negative.
"I tried experimenting myself. After 4 week of experimenting, the following were the results. I observed that the one that was in the best condition was the plant that was in the room with classical music. It grew in the range of 9-16 degrees away from the CD Player. The second best plant was the one in the room with no music. It grew from the range of 11-15 degrees away from the CD Player. The one that didn't do so well was the one in the room with rock music. It grew from the range of 33-85 degrees away from the CD Player. "
Many people swear by Classical music, which is used in some professional greenhouses to stimulate plant growth. In the book, "The Secret Life of Plants," the results of exposure to various types of music on houseplants is explored, among other fascinating plant experiments.
The effect of music on plants is drastic. It is found that music stimulates the brain, but it depends what kind of music. For example the high frequency of mechanical waves that run hand in hand with rap and acid rock are damaging to the plant.
Some studies have indicated that they do indeed germinate and grow faster and healthier when exposed to Classical music.
Soft classic music or sounds of nature, water or birds Answer Myth Busters actually did an experiment to see if it is true that music has an affect on plant growth. They set up several experiments using different types of music and no music. All plants were growing in the same conditions expect for different types of music. Believe it or not, the ones in the greenhouse with heavy metal grew the best.
One may take the personal opinion that plants evolved and thrived for years without any form of music (pop, rock, rap or classical), so why would it make a difference now. If there is anything to the theories that abound it would have to do with vibrations/ and or frequency rather than specific music types. However, specific music types certainly emit certain types of vibrations.