Gardeners swear by it, and now South Korean scientists have proven that they are right by finding that playing music, especially classical pieces, to plants really does help them grow more quickly.
The boffins base their finding on a study in which they played 14 different classical pieces including Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in rice fields.
AdvertisementThey found that the music helped plants the crop grown at a faster pace, and is evidence that plants have genes that enable them to "hear".
Researchers led by Mi-Jeong Jeong of the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology in Suwon, South Korea, monitored gene expression - the process by which a plant's DNA code is translated into instructions for biological processes such as growth - in the crop.
The boffins noted that sounds at 125Hz and 250Hz made genes rbcS and Ald, that are known to respond to light, more active whereas sound waves at 50HZ made these genes less active, reports the Telegraph.
Since these genes respond to light, the team repeated to the experiments in the dark to check whether or not it was the sound, and not the light, that was making the genes more active.
They now suggest that their discovery could in future enable farmers to switch specific plant genes on and off-potentially making crops flower at certain times or grow more quickly.
The study and its results are published in this week's issue of the New Scientist.