Music Soothes Those Under the Knife

As reported in a BBC article by Michelle Roberts, according to a research team that conducted a study in an Oxford Hospital, listening to music lessons the stress of surgery.  In the study, surgeons, (lol, I typed sturgeons initially) AKA “medical DJs”, either played a collection of “easy listening” songs or a hits oriented radio station to their patients under the knife.  The other half in the study were not exposed to music.  Presumably, they heard nothing more than surgical banter, and the ambient sounds of heart monitors and breathing pumps.

The results of the study suggest that patients who listened to music had “more relaxed breathing patterns” and felt less anxious than did those exposed only to typical surgical sound effects.   On the surface, this outcome seems logical, but what if the patients despised the music selected and as a result recovered slowly, or worse.  Couldn’t they or their families sue for musical malpractice? And just what music did these surgical DJs play anyway?

I am very particular about the music I listen to.  I despise “easy listening” music which sounds too much like elevator music to me or piped in MUZAK at supermarkets that makes people buy things they don’t need; something about making them feel nostalgic for the brands of their youth – it’s all very scientific, and frighteningly so…so frightening that when I hear MUZAK or any “easy listening” music, I panic.  I think I’d go into respiratory arrest if exposed to Barry Manilow or Celine Dion.

I had surgery recently and did not leave my fate into the hands of musical sturgeons or the ambient sounds of pumps.  No, I played this song, over and over in my head hours before my surgery and it was still spinning as the anesthesia kicked in:

Genesis – In That Quiet Earth – … 2007 Remastered LP Version

There is some irony in the title of the song, I realize.  However, it is a song with no lyrics and I assure you that I had no death wish.  In fact, the surgery was actually no big deal, but the tune from the 1976 Genesis album, Wind and Wuthering, a much underrated classic, calms my nerves.  I don’t know why exactly, but I used to play it a ton back in the day when feeling stressed.  It is not “easy listening”, but I guess, like MUZAK, it makes me nostalgic for a time when a song could comfort me like a security blanket.

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