Trance-National September 19 2013

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that singing phrases in unison has an effect of slowing and synchronizing heart rates of those participating.

Using pulse monitors attached to the singers' ears, the researchers measured the changes in the choir members' heart rates as they navigated the intricate harmonies of a Swedish hymn. When the choir began to sing, their heart rates slowed down.

"When you sing the phrases, it is a form of guided breathing," says musicologist Bjorn Vickhoff of the Sahlgrenska Academy who led the project. "You exhale on the phrases and breathe in between the phrases. When you exhale, the heart slows down."

But what really struck him was that it took almost no time at all for the singers' heart rates to become synchronized. The readout from the pulse monitors starts as a jumble of jagged lines, but quickly becomes a series of uniform peaks. The heart rates fall into a shared rhythm guided by the song's tempo.

Could an induced trance be part of the purpose of echo chamber that is created when the media covers the war in Syria? Or any story for that matter? As the public repeats what they're hearing, is it aligning the public to a "melody" not their own? Could the trance be broken by ignoring the media? Could people create their own state of synchronicity by changing the tune?