The Power of Music
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When talking about human beings developing and music, music is one of the areas of organization arranging stimulli in patterns of deep meaning and influence, that stands at or very near the apex of humanness. Music is an evolutionary contributer to human beings. For example, crude tools have been found and evidence indicates that the Zinjanthropus ( an early progenitor of man) used them in Eastern Africa about 1.7 million years ago. Part of any human being's culture is music. Music has a biological basis as well as a cultural basis. Einstein stated, " The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible." In other words, without the comprehensibily of the outside world there would be no music. The full fruit on our potential for humaness can never be attained unless we grow and develop within a rich musical environment. Music is simply innate, humans cannot escape the formation of esthetic constructs. Music is a need for expression and communication.
Now a days more and more thrapy clinics, be it for psychlogical or physiological purposes, are using music as therapy. As music, being a form of human behavior itself, has its own unique and powerful influence. Understanding of human behavior and specifically music therapy will profit most from a multidisciplinary approach.
Music is known to benefit handicapped and ill persons by helping them change their behavior. Music Itself elicits these behavioral changes. By using music and persuation, then , the ultimate goal--to bring about desirable changes in behavior --is attempted. again psychologically speaking, in depressed older adults, music therapy has been a positive contributer. Discriptive and experimental studies have documented effects of music on quality of life, involvement with the environment, expression of feeling, awareness and responsiveness, positive associations, and socialization. Music therapy and listening is able of providing a relaxing, positive stimullis for mood change and stress reduction. Further more, it may provide palliative coping strageties for the relief of pain and anxiety. An experiment was done where music listening techniques as a part a therapy were administered in the home setting with great ease and comfort. Participants enjoyed this form of therapy. The experimant showed how music listening stragaties may be useful to distressed individuals. Music just doesn't have positive affects on adults only. According to research, tunes in music may help babies breath better. According to a Prevention Magazine, in a recent 3-day study researcher used baby-sized walk-mans to play lullbies into the ears of 10 premature babies in the Intensive Care Unit.
Researchers observed that when the music was on, the babies had higher levels of oxygen in their blood, and their heart rates and breathing rates were closer to normal then 10 other babies who only heard the continuous hum of medical monitors mixed with other background noises going on in the neonatal ICU.
Phisiologically music also contributes. In music rythem is the organizer and energizer. Rythmic pattern stimulates muscular action, particularily if there is a variation in the rythem. This technique is an excellent reinforcer when it comes to people who lost feeling in their miscles and have a chance of regaining control. Some responses to music consist of spontaneous uncontrollable reflexes. In cases such as epilepsy, there may be a relation between music and the nervous discharge occuring during a fit. Various physiologic effects of music on listening can be measured. Pitches of music make a tremendous difference when it comes to physical affects. High or low piiches can produce nervous tension or relaxation. Speed or volume are known to produce a pphysically painful state. Recent evidence suggests that a melody can improve myocardial schemia. Studies have found that when cardiac patients listen to soothing music, heart rate, blood pressure, mean cardial pressure, cardiac complication,and anxiety are reduced and peripheral temperatures are increased. These outcomes are paticularily desireable in anxious cardiac patients who already have an unstable schemis myocandium. When implementing music therapy to sooth the schemic heart, the four key elements to relaxation are a confortable position, focused concentration, a passive attitude, and a quiet environment. The more patients practice relaxation with music, the more therapeutic it will become.
The rational or the empirical sense of music therapy, whether being positive or negative effects produced, are the proof themselves that music does play a pwerful role. Now what about the spiritual and magical side of music as being a therapeutic. No culture or tribe has ever been satisfied with only the sounds of nature. The relation between music and trances is an extremely tight bond. Music in possession rituals is practiced in various cultures. These exercises include shamanism, mediumship and exorcism. In shamanism, the shaman is the one who makes the music in the posession rituals in order for the journeys into the uppr and lower worlds to be undertaken. The shamans instrumants consist of the drum. Prolonged drumming should create extreme concentration. Some drums are even replaced by canes. During these performances of these rituals, the shaman begs for clairvoyance, effective chants, and the art of drumming. The roles of the genders may differ. Among the Bushmen, music plays a determining role in trance, the dance and treatment of illnesses. The rituals are yieldedby a shaman or a medicine man. The medicine man, singing one of the medicine songs, touches the person... in a moment or two his singing changes to formalized. As mentioned earlier about babies, to cure an ill baby, the medicine songs delight and soothe babies despite the supernatural conditions. The well known story of David playing the lyre to calm Saul's delirium is a great example of musical exorcism. For example, another aspect of music and rituals and a choreographochromatico musical exorcism is known to cure tarantula bites. By means of the melodies and sounds the spider victims hungers ( body fluids) are drawn from the interior of their body toward the exterior, preventing the spider's venom from penetrating inwards, therfore preventing sufferage and allowing relief.
The therapist or shamans or exorcists involved in therapy or healing rituals cannot just jump into this profession. For both empirical and ritual therapy, both must have the important qualification of experiance. In the empirical sense, the fullness and richness of concept and insight that are necessary cannot be achieved unless there is background of meaning and participation in music. There is rarely a good therapist who has not been or still is a good musician. Also different shamans or exorsists need certail qualifications to meet the order of their duties of performing dependling mostly on the religion, culture or tribe. However, the number one priorty is EXPERIANCE.
You would be surprised to observe in clinics or travel to africa and watch rituals performed and see how powerful music can actually be. It is so powerful that it is capable of affecting or altering health. Music is a form of communication which if one is deprived of can cause serious damage. So let us not under estimate the power of music. So if you want to stay healthy drink milk exercise and keep yourself around a good healthy flow of music.