Many studies have been done to analyze the effects of different types of music on plant growth. The studies are often conducted by students for science fairs, although scientists have conducted similar studies. Most of the studies concluded that playing certain types of music or sounds do stimulate plants to grow faster, while other types of music actually hinder and delay the growth process. Two types of music stand out as types that help plants grow faster, and specific sounds also can stimulate plant growth.
Classical music has been determined by research to be a stimulant for plant growth. Many experiments have been conducted that grow several plants in different areas. Each plant is the same type and is planted at the same time. One area plays classical music, often continuously, while other area play different types of music or no music at all. After a pre-determined amount of time, most studies conclude that the plants with classical music playing grew better than plants exposed to other types of music or no music at all. Another study in 1973, by Dorothy Retallack, author of "The Sound of Music and Plants," concluded that plants grew better when exposed to North Indian classical music. The plants actually turned toward the speakers over a few days.
Plants typically grow faster and healthier when exposed to soothing types of music. In her experiments, Dorothy Retallack determined that after a few days of soothing, "easy listening music, the plants quickly outgrew the same plants that were exposed to rock music. The plants were healthier overall and began to turn toward the speakers, as if attracted to the sounds. Within two weeks, the plants in the soothing music room were vibrant and healthy, while plants in the rock music room were tall, gangly and droopy. Soothing or easy listening music can be soft jazz, R&B or any other soothing, laid-back music.
Different types of sounds have been determined to help plants grow faster as well. Dorothy Retallack's first experiment in 1973 studied the effects of different tones playing while plants grew. She found that playing a continuous tone for eight hours killed the plants within two weeks, but playing the same tone intermittently for three hours a day helped the plants grow faster and healthier than plants with no exposure to the tone. Many people also use "nature sounds" CDs to stimulate plant growth, and have found that the nature sounds help the plants grow better than silence. In his essay, "The Effects of Sound on Living Organisms," Yannick Van Doorne concluded that sounds of nature like bird songs or rain forest sounds stimulates plant growth because those sounds are often a part of a healthy plant's natural environment.