A lot of research went into this lullaby. It’s deceptively technical too. Scientific research was conducted by Johnson & Johnson, exploring the various ways which mothers help their baby to sleep. Household appliances were often used; creating a soothing sound that simply washed away distracting sounds. Sound machines that simulated the human heartbeat, songs with simple, predictable melodies and even hair driers were also used as auditory sleeping aids. All of these devices were used in the piece.
Mathematically, the main pulse to the music also matches that of the average pregnant woman’s heart rate, but the cross-rhythm matches a new born baby’s heart rate. It was also written using only the pentatonic musical scale. It’s incredible to think that this scale is instinctively understood around the world, in any culture.
You can hear the lullaby on Johnson’s Bedtime mobile app. The other seven ‘regional’ versions – to make them culturally relevant to the various international demographics – can also be heard on the app.