study says attending live music performances reduces stress levels
A new British study finds that attending a live music performance reduces stress levels. Researchers studied 117 volunteers attending two concerts at Gloucester Catherdral and Union Chapel in London. As The Telegraph reports, they tested the subjects saliva samples before and after for levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the body during physical or psychological stress:
The volunteers provided saliva samples before the performances, and then again during the interval an hour later. Testing the samples for levels of cortisol and cortisone, researchers recorded across-the-board reductions in the second samples.
"This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity," said research lead Daisy Fancourt of the Centre for Performance Science, a partnership between the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London.
The researches added that in the findings "none of these biological changes were associated with age, musical experience or familiarity with the music being performed. This suggests there is a universal response to concert attendance among audience members." Mind you, these were performances of "calm, classical music." Attending an oversold rock show where the AC is broken and you're stuck behind a tall guy wearing a backpack may not have the same effect.