Apple iPods loaded with patients' favourite music could help them recover from operations faster.
A trial will be conducted to test the theory that patients allowed to listen to music feel less pain, need less medication and leave hospital sooner after surgery, reports the Daily Express.
The trial would involve about 120 patients at Barts and The London NHS Trust, and be run by The Public Engagement Foundation charity.
If approved, the first to benefit will be new mothers, who will be exposed to music before and after they give birth, and those admitted for orthopaedic operations such as hip and knee replacements.
They will be monitored to see how music affects their anxiety levels, blood pressure and heart rate compared to those who don't listen to music.
Although it is thought that the best music to use depends on each patient's personal taste, the research will be used to create an original piece of music designed to have the most therapeutic effect.