In an experiment, researchers performed heart transplants on mice and studied the subsequent effects of music on their alloimmune responses.
The researchers exposed different groups of the recuperating mice to three types of recorded music—a collection of works by Mozart, the album The best of Enya, and Verdi’s La traviata—and a single sound frequency as a control. After seven days their results indicated that the mice who listened to La traviata had developed superior alloimmune responses.
This according to “Auditory stimulation of opera music induced prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival and maintained generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ cells” by Masateru Uchiyama, et al. (Journal of cardiothoracic surgery VII/26 ). Many thanks to the Improbable Research Blog for sharing this study with us!
Below, we invite you to improve your own alloimmune responses to La traviata while contemplating animated party food.
In opera, eating and drinking function largely as they do in society—they define social relationships. The antisocial act of refusing to share food or drink with merry people carries a negative connotation and implies an unfortunate result. Further gastromusicological laws may be deduced from Verdi’s operas:
A meal is never sad.
Hunger is never happy.
A shared meal or drink is a socially cohesive event.
The presence of food or drink precludes immediate catastrophe (unless poison is involved).
The act of feasting is a morally neutral event, but a feasting group or individual is morally negative when contrasted with a positive hungry group or individual.
The hero is a sober individual.
Music and text may lie, but the gastronomic sign never does.
The interaction between these gastronomic codes and other interweaving codes is often complex.
This according to “Feasting and fasting in Verdi’s operas” by Pierpaolo Polzonetti (Studi verdiani XIV  pp. 69–106).
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