Wednesday, July 10, 2013

With One Heart and Voice

It looks as though singing praise together literally does unite people in one heart and voice:

Choir singers not only harmonise their voices, they also synchronise their heartbeats, a study suggests.
Researchers in Sweden monitored the heart rates of singers as they performed a variety of choral works.
They found that as the members sang in unison, their pulses began to speed up and slow down at the same rate.
What puts an even bigger smile on my face is that the tagline for our St. James Community Choir is 'Sing Your Heart Out', and for our church is 'A Wholehearted Church'. Truer than we knew at the time.....
read the rest here


  1. Unfortunately the study doesn't seem to mention that they are singing *praise*. In which case it would seem that it's the singing part rather than the praise part that's uniting people. To me this adds weight to the argument that when people think they're feeling God's presence during worship, they're more likely just experiencing a physiological response due to the singing. Not so much "spiritual truths uncovered by science" as "spiritual claims explained alternatively by science".

    1. Sorry, I actually read the abstract of the paper and it seems that they did sing hymns. But there was a scale of synchronising, from single tone to hymns to slow mantra, and the slow mantra was more effective than the hymns.

  2. That's interesting - we've started using some meditative CD tracks in church whilst people are taking communion, often slow chant style, and quite a few people have commented on how that's helped them. Though in that situation, they're not even singing along, just listening.