Music and Health
«Without music, life would be a mistake»
Nietzsche, Crépuscule des idoles, 1888.
«If music did not exist, we would need to invent it»
«Music is the revelation of the world, a truth deeper than any religion or philosophy»
A civilization that doesn’t allow music a central place is a declining, dying civilization lacking an essential connection.
We must make clear, that although thousands of music variety exists, all respectable, there is also numerous type of relation to the music, and some of those are less than desirable.
We often hear that humans have never "consumed" so much music as of now. It is unfortunately true. Many consume by the ton, passively, only as «background noise», without selecting, without any feeling or experience, which leads to deaden one’s mind rather than to enrich one’s mind.
It is good to remind us that music has great influence on mental and physical health, and this, since the Beginning.
Musical therapies have been in existence since antiquity.
Each nation has attributed to sounds and to music magical powers or simply healing virtues.
The first musical instruments go back to incredibly old eras: amongst a multitude of bones, nutritional mapping of the Paleolithic, Neanderthal or Cro-Magnons, were found a few punctured deer phalanx that make very good whistles, producing a clear and powerful sound. The oldest date back a hundred thousand years, and the tradition kept alive until the beginning of the twentieth century, amongst the Mackenzie Indian tribes, located in north-west Canada.
Music therapy (or musicotherapy), which consists in a judicious use of music as a fundamental therapeutic instrument to reestablish, maintain or improve mental, physical or emotional health, has been known for millenniums. From Mongolia to Africa, shamans and wizards of a multitude of communities, could not imagine their trance without music.
For the Chinese, music is life’s essence. They had, five centuries before Christ, identified a hundred different kinds of music therapies. The music substance for them resides in the sound. It equals a resonance, spontaneous response, air being set in motion, breath, (the famous Qi), and it is also the link of man between heaven and earth.
Amongst the Greek, music was studied as science associated to mathematics and physics. Pythagoras and his disciples considered that all things were composed of numbers and mathematical figures, including music. For them, planet movements generated a music of the spheres: they therefore contributed to the elaboration of a pythagorician music therapy bringing harmony between humanity and the planets.
Learning to play music is an important extracurricular activity for children. Very often sidetracked, this learning process improves the development of certain brain capabilities. Neurologists state that music improves many abilities: reading, attention span, and distinction of voice intonations.
Adults, in our disconnected, «zombie» era, passive in front of our computer or television screens, learning to play or to listen to music seriously is much more than just a new «hobby»; it’s a new life apprenticeship, a daily regenerescence, relaxation and deep appeasement.
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