“If music is the food of love, then play on.”
Don’t give me too much of it. That is, surfing.
You may feel hungry and eventually die.
It was again that strain! It died in its final days.
O, it came to my ear like a sweet sound
It breathes on a bank of violets
Stealing and giving off odor !……”
Act 1, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “Twelfth night” begins with the Duke Orsino asking his musicians to provide him with music throughout the night. He wants to satisfy his love for romance and has the musicians play the music. He describes the music as an “energizing food of love” and then proceeds to speak sweet words of passion. These are all derived from the relaxing effects of the music.
While this play was staged centuries ago, it is clear that the cultivation of music and other arts was not only a way to relax the mind and soul, but also as an aesthetic pursuit. Today, despite numerous breakthrough researches showing that music as an entity has a profound impact on the body of all living organisms and the psyche, what was once considered an aesthetic pursuit, is now regarded as a therapy that addresses the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of people of all ages. Researches have shown that music can be used to bring about qualitative changes in people and animals, as well as in plants and animals.
Scientists have shown that beats and rhythms can have a profound effect on how people feel today. Think about how mentally stimulating music such as the Symphonies of Bach and Beethoven can be. Can anyone deny the power of music to inspire creativity and positive energy? Every classical music has been shown to have profound effects on the body and psyche. It plays an important role in healing and harmonizing the mind, body, and spirit. Any form of “positive music,” including classical music, has been long accepted as a stimulant and soother. It has been shown to have profound effects on the cognitive abilities, creativity, optimism, and overall state of mind. Researchers have used the term “positive music” to refer to music that is emotionally and spiritually uplifting and has healing properties. Pop songs with romantic lyrics and music are part of “positive music”. The vast array of world music today, which is a wide range of music that celebrates the great non-western traditions, such as Indian, Persian (Iranian), and Sufi musics, all comfortably fall under the “positive music” category, according to scholars and musicologists.
The ancient cultures, which included the Vedanta philosophy and the ancient Greek philosophy, had something to say about the effect of music on individuals:
We can see the profound spiritual and philosophical impact music had on human souls if we go back to the origins of ancient, age-old cultures and philosophies. The sound effects of music have been used by the Vedic culture for thousands of years to promote peace and harmony between body and soul. The Vedanta philosophers believed that ancient oriental music was a rich exercise for the mind as it explores the mysteries of Nature (the “Brahman”) and the ultimate truth. In ancient Vedanta philosophy music was considered a subtle divine thread that could link the “Jeevatma”, an individual soul, with the “Parmatma,” the Supreme Soul. Why not? Vedanta philosophers identified “shabda”, (sound), as “brahma”, the primordial source of creation of all things. Ancient Vedic philosophers had embraced the entire concept of “shabda brahma” to fully understand the beauty, depth, and elevating power of Indian music. The many benefits that classical Indian music has on the mind and the body are undisputed, however, cannot be denied. It is clear that the ancient form of spiritual music, known as the “Dhrupad”, was performed in temples and courts throughout the ancient and medieval periods. This is also the reason why modern researches continue to explore its magic effects on the body and soul.
Researchers have discovered that Pythagoras, an ancient Greek mathematician, believed that music could reduce or even eliminate negative emotions and energies from the human mind. The ethical power of music was also believed by other ancient Greek philosophers, such as philosophers who lived in the fifth century B.C. From the third century A.D. They all recognized the enormous impact music has on one’s personality development. Plato, Chinese writers of different documents and philosophers have repeatedly emphasized the stupendous influence of music on an individual’s ethos and overall disposition.
Modern science has established the healing properties of music:
Modern scientific researches are continually emphasizing the amazing healing powers of music. Recent scientific researches have shown that certain sounds and music can have multiple healing benefits. Music Therapy, a rapidly growing field in health care, is using music and its many forms to treat children with ADD and cancer patients. It’s amazing to see how hospitals and other health care providers are now treating music therapy as a separate research area to aid in pain management, depression prevention, movement promotion, muscle relaxation, and many other benefits.
Researches that have been conducted since 1950 to today have shown the powerful influence of music on the brain. Music’s beat and rhythm can trigger brainwaves to vibrate in tune with the beat. This can transport the mind to a state of calm, concentration and even promote meditation. Researches show that music’s beat and rhythm can have a profound effect on brainwaves and other physiological functions. Activities related to the autonomous nervous systems, such as breathing and heart rate, are also greatly affected by it. Music therapy practitioners today use music therapy to combat or prevent chronic stress. This results in relaxation, well-being, and health. Researchers have even claimed that “positive music” has the ability to reduce stroke risk and other health problems, increase immunity, relieve muscle tension, and act as a “stress buster”.
Most of the current research on the effects of music has been done after realizing that all bodily functions, from breathing, pulse, heart rate, and pumping blood, work in a coherent, cyclical, and rhythmical manner, just as music does. The rhythmic and cyclical movement of sound patterns are the foundations of music. However, it is the synchronization between the different sound patterns and rhythms which influences all of our physiological actions. Experts have developed music therapy interventions that promote wellness, stress management, pain relief, and physical rehabilitation. They emphasize the synchronization between various sound patterns and rhythms.
A new form of music therapy was recently offered to people with severe intellectual disabilities. The results were remarkable. According to The World Today music is similar to meditation and yoga, which are two natural tranquilizers. It gives people with profound disabilities a voice, providing them new insight into their emotional lives. According to The World Today, there are at least a half dozen cases of people with severe disabilities using music as a direct channel of communication. This is certainly a unique example.