A 2007 study found that music, especially classical music, helps plants grow faster.
Over the years, several studies have indicated that plants may respond to sound. However, the subject is still hotly debated in scientific circles.
If plants respond to the ways they are nurtured and have several sensory perceptions, then how do they respond to sound waves and the vibrations created by musical sounds?
Several studies have looked at this question, specifically how music affects plant growth. In 1962, Dr. T. C. Singh, head of the Botany Department at India's Annamalia University, experimented with the effect of musical sounds on the growth rate of plants. He found that balsam plants grew at a rate that accelerated by 20% in height and 72% in biomass when exposed to music. He initially experimented with classical music. Later, he experimented with raga music (improvisations on a set of rhythms and notes) played on flute, violin, harmonium, and Reena, an Indian instrument. He found similar effects.
Singh repeated the experiment with field crops using a particular type of raga played through a gramophone and loudspeakers. The size of crops increased to between 25 to 60% above the regional average.
Through his several experiments, Singh concluded that the sound of the violin has the greatest effect on plant growth. He also experimented on the effects of vibrations caused by barefoot dancing. After exposure to dancers performed Bharata-Natyam, India's most ancient dance style, with no musical accompaniment, several flowering plants, including petunias and marigold, flowered two weeks earlier than the control.
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, an Indian plant physiologist, and physicist spent a lifetime researching and studying the various environmental responses of plants. He concluded that they react to the attitude with which they are nurtured. He also found that plants are sensitive to factors in the external environment, such as light, cold, heat, and noise. Bose documented his research in Response in the Living and Non-Living, published in 1902, and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants, published in 1926. To conduct his research, Bose created recorders capable of detecting extremely small movements, like the quivering of injured plants, and he also invented the crescograph, a tool that measures the growth of plants. From his analysis of the effects specific circumstances had on plants' cell membranes, he hypothesized they could both feel pain and understand affection.