BBC NEWS ONLINE
Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Organ music 'instils religious feelings'
By Jonathan Amos
BBC News Online science staff, in Salford
People who experience a sense of spirituality in church may be reacting
to the extreme bass sound produced by some organ pipes.
Many churches and cathedrals have organ pipes that are so long they emit
infrasound which at a frequency lower than 20 Hertz is largely inaudible to the
But in a controlled experiment in which infrasound was pumped into a
concert hall, UK scientists found they could instil strange feelings in the
audience at will.
These included an extreme sense of sorrow, coldness, anxiety and even
shivers down the spine.
Infrasound has become the subject of intense study in recent years.
Researchers have found that some animals, such as elephants, can communicate
with low-frequency calls.
Infrasound can be detected at volcanoes and may provide a way to predict
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