Here he is playing Suite no 1. It is simply majestic. I know people who want to hear Bach as they lay dying, and this is why.
Now comes a paper saying that musicians together may do more than sound as one. Their hearts may beat as one. Or rather, synchronize. This is choir members, who apparently control their breathing enough that it affects their heart beat, and when they are singing in unison their hearts accelerate and decelerate together. The authors of this paper discuss the implications of this for the health and well-being of the singers, but I prefer to think of it less prosaically.
Dictyostelium discoideum, slime mold, are amoeba that live in the soil. Their life cycles are interesting; at some stages they are single celled organisms going it alone, but when conditions are right (or wrong -- when the individuals sense that nutrients are being depleted, generally because there are too many amoeba consuming them), the individuals mass together, eventually becoming a fruiting body that releases spores and starts the cycle again.
|Dicty life cycle; Wikimedia Commons|
Each aggregate may be comprised of multiple species. Once they've come together, some cells will undergo apoptosis (that is, programmed cell death -- kill themselves) for the good of the group, even when it includes cells they aren't as close kin to as others.
But this phenomenon is not just a strange evolutionary quirk of slime mold. Most if not all bacteria can do this. They have what's called "quorum sensing" which allows them to detect the population density around them. They respond to high population density in numerous ways, but one common response is to group together into a biofilm, a group of often diverse bacterial species that has a modicum of structure, and can do things that each cell cannot do alone, such as better resist antibiotics. They have been doing this since before there were multicellular organisms as we know them.
Hive insects, ants, termites, wasps, bees, and so on, are similar. Individual insects each contributing to the good of the hive, and each surviving only because of the hive. Enough so that hives are often considered to be superorganisms. This behavior probably evolved before vertebrates like us did.
Maybe choirs are superorganisms too. As singers aggregate into groups, specializing as bass, alto, tenor, soprano, they can reach ethereal heights that those of us who sing in the shower cannot. Perhaps it is good for the singers' health, but I think more, it is good for our souls.