results of clinical study
Ibolya Kongo Lévay

Since December 2001 the Universitäts-Frauenklinik in Leipzig/Germany (Gynaecological University Clinic) in the unit for prematurely born infants under the direction of Professor Vogtmann the music therapy "the breath of a new life" brought into action (assigned) a remarkable success.

This music was directly placed into the incubator by using a small special stereo equipment for 43 minutes. The music therapy could improve in a very natural way the breath and heart frequency, the oxygen content in blood and brain, as well as the development of the temperature of the preemies and stabilize clearly even beyond the period of presentation.

The measuring parameters were compared statistically after the baby's care during the period of stimulation (with music) and during control times (without music).
The bases of the statistical evaluations are documented on the diagrams of the reports by the University Clinic in Leipzig/Neonatology.

Medical opinion: Professor Vogtmann
University Clinic in Leipzig/Germany
Anstalt öffentlichen Rechts
Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Kinder und Jugendliche
Oststraße 2 1-25, 04317 Leipzig
Direktor: Professor, Dr. med. Wieland Kiess

Music therapy with prematurely born infants
Investigations on reactions of infants when playing the composition "breath of a new life" (Tibor Lévay)

About the consequences of music on body functions and behaviour of newborn children and particularly of premature infants today only a few secured results are known. Therefore the music is generally and systematically not used during the care of premature infants. Probably the meaning and importance for a stimulating development of premature infants with the use of music are underestimated. The goal of our investigations was the question whether the hearing of music has positive effects on measurable physiological parameters and on the behaviour of premature infants.
For this purpose premature infants with weights of around l000g and still with unstable breath functions were offered for 60 minutes one of Mr. Tibor Lévay composed and particularly arranged music ("the breath of a new life").
Before, during and afterwards in the usual context of machine-technical monitoring, the breathing and heart frequency, oxygen saturation in the blood, as well as the central and peripheral body temperature were measured in a non invasive way and registered and accompanying events were logged.

These data were then analyzed by a third person, who themself was not part of the investigations. A combination of CD player and loudspeaker of SONY served for the rendering of the music.

In the result of this provisional investigation the following effects can be registered:

It refers throughout to positive effects which can be secured statistically on physiological infantile function parameters.

One later following investigation on a further group of children will clarify whether these results can be reproduced and whether the effects are bound to the offered music and thus are specific.

Professor Dr. Christoph Vogtmann in charge of the neonatology division


Medical opinion: Mrs. Dr. Noecker Noecker-Ribaupierre "the breath of a new life"
- Music for prematurely born infants by Tibor Lévay

Acknowledging the constantly improving technical situation of the medical intensive care, the survival of more and more immature infants becomes possible - survival in the time of growth, in which all sense organs are developed so far that they can receive sensory impulses, which affects considerably the development.
With an intensity of up to 110 db especially the hearing system is extremely unphysiologicaly stressed by the technical surrounding noise of an intensive care unit.

This increases the stress of a newborn, which can be viewed and measured, and favours thereby the development of restraining effects of stress to the entire organism of a premature infant. The fact that music works on calming down and stress-reducing was documented by numerous studies, especially in the USA.
Tibor Lévay´s composed music differs from all others offered so far: It aims particularly at this situation, by including on the one hand the surrounding noises or rather absorbs them. On the other hand also this music corresponds to the acoustic needs of small children through the particular musical organization. With simple sounds and hummed or sung melodies, as well as soft instrumental accompaniment this world of sounds creates a reassuring and wrapping feeling.
Adults who listened to the music of Tibor Lévay judge it in such a way, as one wishes it for these children: "as if the feeling of separation disappears, one feels secured, full of love and longing, one is affected in the soul ".
The music was created as a gentle assistance and natural cure - a music, which mediates live. It is not a prescription and it replaces no live contact, above all it can not replace the parents - however it should not be missing on any intensive care unit, if at certain moments nobody can be there for the child.

Munich, May 2003
Dr. Monika Noecker Ribaupierre
dipl. Music Therapist


++ 7 prematurely born children:

1.    A. Y.     starting from   
 life day   /LT/
2. S. L. starting from
life day /LT/
3. S. P. starting from
life day /LT/
4. P. J. starting from
life day /LT/
5. P. M. starting from
life day /LT/
6. S. M. starting from
life day /LT/
7. F. J. starting from
life day /LT/

Measuring parameter:

1.  Basal heart frequency/ exact frequency per minute/ (HF)
2. SpO2 - oxygen saturation/ 1 % exactly per minute
3. Saturation decreases: Amounts, depth, duration until 1 minute
4. Respiration rate/exact frequency per minute/(AF)
5. Temperature distribution/ central -peripherial difference/(T1 - T2)

Tibor Lévay

After the infants care the measuring parameters were statistically compared in the time of stimulation (with music) and control times (without music).

The bases of the statistic evaluations are the diagram reports from Universitätsklinik Leipzig/ Neonatologie.



1. Basal heart frequency

The optimal heart frequency lies in the range between 100 and 150 per minute. On average the heart frequency is lower and more constant with music.

In the comparison:

Measurements with music
Measurements without music

The following values showed:

Optimum ~ 120 BPM

Heart frequency average value maximum minimum
with music 135,7 BPM 140,4 131,7
without music 143,2 BPM 153,1 135,4

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2. SpO2 - Oxygen saturation

With music the average values are more stable and a higher oxygen content was measured.

Optimum 100 %

Oxygen saturation average value maximum minimum
with music 97,47 % 98,75 93,35
without music 94,49 % 96,27 91,20

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3. SpO2 decreases of saturation
Optimum 100 %

Occurred decreases of saturation measured in 60 control hours and 60 experiment hours within the critical range between 80 % and 90 % content of oxygen.

The largest benefit was measured on the most essential parameters. The decreases of oxygen saturation are responsible for the well-known damages. Our diagram shows 60 hours of the quantities of occurred decreases of saturation, as well as their depth measured in a percentage of saturation Here are no average values, but absolute values are represented. 15 additional hours evaluated the after effect with the music.

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4. Respiration rate

With music a lower and more balanced respiration rate was obtained and is represented in the result.

Optimum ~ 50 BPM

Respiration rate average value maximum minimum
with music 42,44 BPM 49,9 36,64
without music 43,61 BPM 56,22 34,74

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5. temperature - profile of central and peripherial temperature comparison

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The evaluation shows an increase and an approximation of the central and peripherial temperatures when using music.

T1 = central temperature
T2 = peripherial temperature