In the previous episode, we talked about the use of music for human health, happiness and comfort, and we emphasized that it is not only for entertainment, nor is it confined to the field of philosophy or worship, but has been used to influence mental, emotional, physical and involuntary movements. It is the language of tempers and emotions, changing feelings and emotions in all its forms, whether fun or sad, quiet or violent. Driving to calm and contemplation, or driving to enthusiasm and revolution.
Music and therapy are companions, unseparated throughout human history. Music is one of the oldest therapeutic methods, having been used since ancient times in a primitive way. Then it developed to what it has reached in our era, based on studies and experiences that accept further development.
In this episode, we continue by talking about the power and ability of music to express the emotions of the human soul.
Music is a non-verbal communication: “When the ability to speak ceases, the music emerges.”
Music acts as a form of non-verbal communication, and its non-verbal influence is what gives it its strength and value. How can a kiss be verbally expressed as a smile? As a frown? As a farewell sign? Or as a look of humility? How can one express what is contained in a piece of music, such as a symphony, except in music?
Gaston said, “If it was possible to communicate verbally with something easy to communicate with music, there would be no need for music.”
The greatest verbal alternative to non-verbal music severely lacks in the ability to express. Music is the closest form of non-verbal communication, deeply nurtured by humans.
To draw people to one another is not the only function of music, but its unique quality is to make it a convenient means of reaching and influencing what might be thought to beyond nature. Even in times when civilization prided itself on its rationality, it attributed the healing of diseases through music to mysterious healing powers.
This special kind of connection is the reason why, for thousands of years, people have thought music to be mysterious or even supernatural. The people of India still call it ‘Mathrasinta’, meaning the magic of song.
In order not to deviate from the path of myth, we must know that music is not beyond the comprehension of the mind, although it is mysterious. We do not know why music is beautiful and why we are excited by it, but there is no justification for considering music from another world.
Writings are replete with “miraculous” cases of healing through music, yet these stories often hide the original healing energies of music behind appearances of superstition. So instead of shedding light that helps reveal an obscure topic, they become the basis for mythical claims that are not its basis.
Music as a non-verbal expression brings together and does not differentiate, making it an ideal vehicle for social integration.
Music is the language of emotions and feelings
It is clear that the sound of music is most closely related to emotions and feeling, so music is the most powerful art that moves and motivates the soul. With its effect on the soul, feelings and emotions change in all their forms. The funeral procession is increasingly influenced by the playing of the Marches of the Dead, while the playing of a large military band or a solo drummer helps troops to walk. In fact, if music is not available to them, the soldiers will find it for themselves by singing and whistling or by the rhythm of the feet or by other means.
The energies of music are known to us mainly through the manifestations that are achieved, and because until now we know very little about its nature and the way it works. Despite the intangible and mysterious factor in music, scientists over the centuries have been recognizing its energies, and they work to take advantage of these energies commensurate with the development in all fields of science, arts and literature.
Because music consists of sounds of different vibrations, such that it sounds like a tape of melodies that makes us feel the splendor of rhythm, it can be said that it is the art of mixing sounds with the aim of expressing emotions in the form of an enjoyable whole.
It is known that sound occurs as a result of the vibration of the air, and the faster the frequency of the vibrations per second, the more intense the sound. The speed of the audible sound ranges from 20 vibrations per second to 20,000 vibrations per second, otherwise the human ear cannot hear it. Sound waves that have a frequency of more than 20,000 vibrations per second are called ultrasonic waves. These waves are used for medical purposes, including diagnosing and treating some disease conditions.
Sound works to vibrate the air, causing waves that are translated by the ear or waves that are sensed by the limbs, and the body vibrates in response, as was the case for Beethoven after he became deaf.
Sound waves are subject to the law of undulation of bodies, and despite numerous researches in this field, scientists have not yet reached the knowledge of the organic relationship between sensory and organic psychological phenomena and the diversity, multiplicity and difference of these waves. All we know is the direct effect of this relationship, especially if the effect stems from a sense of the sincerity and depth of the emotions of the music’s creator. Then we feel that this music has a mysterious ability to penetrate our organs and our senses, mix with them and affect them, to the extent that the human being contributes to the tendency to vibrate with the same rhythm of music. This is a general trend in the animal world.
How can we explain the ability of music to penetrate every part or organ in our bodies and every feeling in our conscience?
We know that the vibration of any body can affect the vibration of another body. So if there is a violin at a distance of 2 to 4 meters from another violin, and we work on the vibration of the “Re” string, for example, on the first violin, then the “Re” string on the second violin will also vibrate. From here we can come to know the power of music that stems from an expressive and sincere feeling, as it responds to the vibrations of our emotions as well, permeates our organs and affects us.
Hence, the phenomenon of music therapy is also evident.
Music therapy is about regulating the rhythm of movement within the living body by means of music waves, whether by finding relaxation that is beneficial for many pathological conditions, or by achieving a certain ratio of harmony between breathing and pulse rate at 4:1.
Music therapy calls for musical sound expressions that help remove excess energy from the body in defense of the soul. Thus, it helps to get rid of the psychological distress that causes some different diseases.
Therefore, it can be said that there is no contradiction between music and science. Everything that is true converges and does not contradict. Music is shaped by culture, but it in turn imposes its influence on that culture of which it is a part.
Music has its infinite appreciation, because it belongs to the fields of science and art creativity at the same time. It also influences, and even controls, our entire psychological and organic state.
What is music therapy?
Music therapy is defined as “the process in which a music therapist provides a person needing this therapy with a set of music-based experiences with the aim of bringing about significant behavioral changes in their performance, and then the therapist evaluates these changes.”
Music therapy is the process by which the rhythm of movement within the living body is regulated by the waves and rhythms of music, whether through the restricted relaxation of many pathological conditions, or by achieving a certain percentage of compatibility between breathing and pulse rate. Musical sound expressions help to remove excess energy from the body, which helps it get rid of various deficiencies that it suffers from.
It is also the use of music as a mediator in the therapeutic process through the use of certain musical components and elements in a therapeutic program based on music, depending on its components and their importance to humans, in a way that helps achieve the desired goals.
Goals of music therapy
The results of several researches showed the ability of using music therapy in the treatment of autism disorder in individuals, while the “Goldstein, 1964”, “Steven & Clark, 1929”, “Hollander & Juhrs, 1974”, “Saperston, 1973”, “Schmidt & Edwards, 1976”, and “Warwich, 1995” studies showed that music can contribute to improving social, behavioral, and interpersonal skills. The results of other studies showed an effect of music therapy in improving language skills, such as “Edgerton, 1994”.