Hubert von Goisern


Miscellaneous: 2001

Hubert von Goisern's heartbeat

ORF April 2001

Research scientists from the Joanneum Research investigating the connection between heart rate and music win a famous musician as a test person: Hubert von Goisern

HvGFor science on the stage

The well-known singer, on tour with his newest CD underwent a heart test on the stage at a live concert in the Graz Orpheum.

The human organism reacts extremely sensitively to the environment. During a concert, the audience and musician are exposed to a circulatory strain, which is connected to the music being played.

It begins with stage fright

Scientist and HvGThe circulation is already under a huge strain before the show - through the stage fright that seizes even such a stage-going professional as Hubert von Goisern: "I can't speak to anyone, I really just want people to leave me in peace. I always just nod and grin and say yes, yes, that's all right," the singer laughs.

A concert is hard work

HvG liveThe musician is equipped with special measuring instruments and via sensors on the skin, particular results of the circulation will be recorded for one day. The result was astounding for the research scientists. The two hour appearance, broken by a twenty minute interval, is hard work says Professor Maximilian Moser from Joanneum Research.

Bigger strain than running a marathon

"The physiological data says that it is a peak output that will be maintained over two and a half hours. The heart rate is above the result for marathon runners. You can see that the maximum heart frequency at the high point of the concert exceeds 150. You can also see from this that it is an enormous strain on the musician's body.

Heart rateThe symphony of the heart

Musicians acquire a change in circulation by which the rhythm of the heartbeat is influence. Prof. Moser even talks of a symphony of the heart:

"It goes here like a real symphony, to a gradual rise until the first high point of the heart rate, then there is a break and then the second part in which the absolute high point comes. On the basis of examination by the research scientists from Joanneum Research, the musician will receive special advice on how he could better avoid the strain before and during the concert.

Recovery and energy through art and music 2001

Sleep especially, but also artistic therapies, renews the reservoirs of our bodies. So it was established in a cooperation with language therapists that the heartbeat of people will be similar to musical sound patterns, if for example hexameter is spoken by the subject. The Greeks have already used this metre therapeutically in their spa theatres. In new investigations into the heart circulation system, it has been shown that such harmonious oscillations are particularly economic, ie the organism saves strength through the use of rhythm.

Nothing was more appropriate than to examine musicians during a concert, using methods of the IND (Institute for Non-invasive Diagnosis). Hubert von Goisern and his band declared themselves to be ready to cooperate at their concert in Graz.

In the dressing room, the IND measuring instruments - as large as a cigarette packet - were hidden and the musicians wore the devices during the concert and the day after. Questionnaires from the Psychological Institute of the Karl-Franzens University in Graz (University Prof. Dr W. Kallus) were also handed out, so that the physiological and psychological sides could be measured.

It was shown that on the one hand the musicians were exposed to a large strain - after all, the concert had to be professionally organised and was totally sold-out.

On the other hand, the heart frequency variability rose clearly during the concert, so it can be said that the musicians were also energised by the concert. This was confirmed by the psychological measurements. The process of the heart frequency followed the music - as in a two movement symphony, the high point was reached shortly before the end of the concert. Obviously professional musicians can conserve their energy well. In the psychological measurements, Prof. Kallus could determine a load profile characteristic for these musicians, which interestingly enough exhibited a sample typical for the whole band.