The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Former Vice-President Dick Cheney might want to listen to classical music – especially Verdi or Mozart — after his recent heart transplant, according to Japanese researchers.

March 27, 2012
9 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

As you have no doubt heard, former Vice President Dick Cheney (below) had a heart transplant over the weekend.

The operation was not unexpected, given Cheney’s very long history of cardiac problems. Apparently, he had been on the waiting list for 20 months, while the average waiting time in Washington, D.C., is nine months.

Perhaps the transplant was less expected, given Cheney age. He is 71, after all, and many guidelines suggest that older people over 65 don’t weather either the surgery or the recovery as well as younger people do. They also have a less successful with the powerful drugs that prevent rejection. But Cheney (below) has the reputation of being a Tough Guy.

Do you think being a former Vice-President had anything to do with it? Or maybe being immensely rich, as the former head of the oil company Halliburton?

One suspects not and hopes not. One suspects that it really was a decision left to medical authorities relying on science and not politics on money. At least, one hopes that is the case — and news stories suggest that it is. As the Baby Boomers age, more will have organ transplants later in life.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57404411-10391704/dick-cheneys-heart-transplant-at-71-special-treatment/

Still, Cheney might want to listen to some of his favorite classical music, according to new research from Japanese scientists. That research suggests listening to classical music betters that chances of recovering from a heart transplant — at least in mice, if not in men.

Here are links to a couple of stories:

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/blogs/wqxr-blog/2012/mar/26/classical-music-helps-mice-recover-heart-transplants/

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21622-classical-music-affects-heart-transplants.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=classical-music-slows-mice-transpla-12-03-23

http://www.miller-mccune.com/health/classical-music-boosts-heart-transplant-survival-in-mice-40561/

The research suggests that the music of Verdi (below) and Mozart – but probably NOT their Requiems — had the best results, perhaps because of the harmonies.

What pieces of classical music — by Verdi, Mozart or anyone else since I myself find Faure’s music especially restorative and calming — do you think the recuperating Cheney should listen to?

The Ear wants to hear.


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