Playing Mozart to unborn babies is most likely to keep them happy in the womb, but Adele and the Bee Gees should be avoided, according to a new study.
Research by fertility doctors has found that, overall, foetuses prefer classical music to contemporary songs.
Bach’s sonata for flute as well as Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from the ninth sympathy were also found to elicit happy contented responses.
However, Someone Like You by Adele, as well as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody scored lowest.
Scientists at the Institute Marques in Barcelona studied the mouth and tongue movements of more than 300 foetuses between 18 and 38 weeks gestation.
The babies were exposed each to a mixture of 15 different songs, falling into categories: classical, traditional world music, and pop or rock.
The music genre which caused the greatest level of reaction was classical music, 84 per cent, followed by traditional music, 79 per cent, and last but not least pop rock music 59 per cent.
It is very unusual for these types of movements to be carried out by foetus’ during the second and third trimester of pregnancy without a stimulus such as music, the researchers said.
They argued the study proves music is capable of prompting neurological stimulation, activating the brain areas related to language and communication.
Dr. Marisa López-Teijón, Director of Institut Marquès, said: “Music is a form of ancestral communication between humans, the communication through sounds, gestures and dances preceded the spoken language.
“The first language was more musical than verbal, and it still is; we still tend instinctively to speak in a high pitched voice, because we know that newborn perceive those better, and this way they understand that we want to communicate with them.”
Dr Lopez-Teijon’s team conducted already play classical music to embryos which have undergone IVF fertilisation.
They say it increases the chances of success by up to 5 per cent.