MUSIC and MUSIC THERAPY
The first question which we should ask is what role music play in the psychological life of human beings? Why do humans display such interest and drive such enjoyment from listening to music?
Indeed, music seems to be integral to all cultures on the planet, even the most primitive and isolated ones. It is believed that music serves the role of enabling a person to perceive an artistic ans aesthetic conception of life. It is also believed that, in serving this function the type of music a person enjoys, says something about his or her personality, his degree of maturity, his intelligence and his view of the world.
For most humans, music express an abstracted and artistic relations of themselves to Nature and life. Biographer Philipp Frank has written: “There was something about genuinely artistic in Einstein’s nature. It recalled to mind the passage in Goethe’s autobiography where he relates that he rid himself of every mental vexation it artistically. Einstein in such cases played a short but vigorous composition on the violin or composed a few humorous verses. Even though they did not attende the classical level of Goethe’s Faust, yet psychologically fulfilled the same function equally as well.”
Different types of music and different composers and singers reflect differential psychological conceptions. “Oh What A Beautiful Mourning” sung in Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical: ‘OKLAHOMA’, certainly asserts that mankind in general, and the singer in particular, and the listener by extension, is captain of his fate and master of his soul. On the other hand, Bob DYLAN’s “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” represent the rather existential view of life and contemporary society’s of today’s youth.
The Perception of a chaotic world, in both word and music, with few intellectual, social and moral mooring points, similar to some of the literary work of realists and naturalists who perceive maan, pitted along agains f a t e and o v e r p o w e r i n g f o r c e s.
M u s i c, may express the joy and exhiliration of life, but iy may also express frustration, sadness, confusion and pain which dominates the lives of many men and intrude into everyone’s life. In some sense, music is the philosophy of the ears.
THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC
All medicines which are used for healing purposes, if we ask what it is in them that heals, we shall find that is the different elements which constitute our physical being. The same elements are present in these medications, and that which is lacking in us is taken from them, or the effects which should be produced in our body is produced by them. The v i b r a t i o n which is necessary for our health is created in the body by their power; and the r h y t h m which is necessary for our cure is brought about by bringing the circulation of the blood into a certain rhythm and speed.
By this, we learn that h e a l t h is a condition of perfect rhythm and tone. Ana what is MUSIC? Music is the rhythm and tone. When the health is out of order, it means the music is out of order. Therefore, when the music is not right in us to help of harmony and rhythm is very necessary to bring us into a state of harmony and rhythm..
This way of healing can be studied and understood by studying the music of one’s own life, by studying the rhythm of the pulse, the rhythm of the beating of the heart and of the head. Physicinas who are sensitive to rhythm, determine the condition of the patient by examining the rhythm of the pulse, the beating of the heart, the rhythm of the circulation of the blood. And to find the real complaint, a physician, with all his material knowledge, must depend upon his intuition and the use of his m u s i c a l q u a l i t i e s.
In ancient times and even now in the East, we find two principal schools of medicine. One which came from the ancient Greek School through Persia (Iran); the other which came from the old Indian V e d a n t a and founded on mysticism. And, what is MYSTICISM? It is law of v i b r a t i o n.
According to the ancient Indian thinkers, there are three concepts of music: “singing”, “playing” and “dancing”. All three represent r h y t h m, and all represent t o n e, in some form or other. And, what is the effect of the music? The effect of the music is to regulate the rhythm of another person, and to tune a person to the music that is performed.
What secret is tehere in music which attracts all those who listen to it? It is the r h y t h m which is being created. It is the t o n e of what music which tunes a soul and raises it above the ‘depression’ and ‘despair’ of everyday life in this world. And if one knew what rhythm was needed for a particular individual in his trouble and despair, what tone was needed, and to what pitch that person’s sould should be raised, one would them be able to heal him with music.
The A N C I E N T M U S I C
Eastern idea of music, had originated from intuition. But the tradition of any art or even science will tell us the same thing. It is only later that may man brings to beleive in the outer things and forgets the origin, which is i n t u i t i o n.
Music, acording to the ancient people was not a mechanical science or art; music was the f i r s t l a n g u a g e. The proof of this can be found even now in the language of animals and birds, who express their emotions and passions to one another, though there are no words, only s o u n d s. It is the combination of the different sounds of the animals and the birds which also has an effecet upon numberless maltitudes of the lower creation. If the music was the first expressive thing in the lower creation, so it was ,n mankind also. And since it was the first expression of the emotions and passions. for what art cannot express, poetry explains; and what poetry cannot express, is expressed by music. Therefore, to a thinker, m u s i c in all ages will stand supreme, as the highest expression of what is deepest in oneself.
When ancient music is compared with modern music, one will no doubt will find a gulf which is too waste to span. But if there is anything which gives one, some idea of the original music of te human race, is Eastern music, which still has traces of the ancient music in it. And, if it had been considered in the East only as music, it would perhepa not have been kept intact as it has been; but it has always been taken to be part of religion, and that is how it has been preserved for thousand of years through tradition. One might ask how the music of ancient times can be kept pure, as there is always a tendency in human nature to alter things.
The point is, that, it was always difficult for the human race to change its religion. Anything else might be changed, there was one thing taht was always kept, and that was r e l i g i o n. The religion of Hindus came from the VV e d a n t a; and in the Vedanta the fifth aspect named was m u s i c which was called S a m a V e d a.
The word m u s i c, or SANGITA in Sanskrit, has three aspects. One aspect is LANGUAGE; the other aspect is PLAYING (singing); and the third aspect is MOVEMENTS (dancing). The Hindus never regarded the science of movement or d a n c e as something separate from the music. As thge music of Eastern People developed, each of these three aspects developed also. For instance, the singing of the more refined people was quite different than that of peasant. The song of the temple was altogether different from the song of the stage. It was not only that there were particular rules and regulatons to be followed that was a mechanical difference, but there was also a n a t u r a l difference.
MUSIC and MUSIC THERAPY IN WESTERN CULTURE
The idea of harmonious cosmos whose structure and visittidues were not purely determined by the whims of higher powers marked in Ancient Greece, the beginninbg of a new phase in Western culture. The idea of mathematical harmony was of far-reaching significance for music, as well as medical science. The numerical, symmetric relationships in the macro and microcosm and harmonious order in music as described and developed in, particular by PITHAGORAS, 5th century B.C. and his followers, offered the physician in antiquity a theoretical framework within which the use of music as a therapetic medium could be rationalized. Pythagoras himself was taught to have made regular use of “catharsis” during which the paricipants were carried to a ‘loftier’ mood, that is, a state of improved harmony and eurhytmics with the help of l y r e playing and singing.
Throught the centuries, the idea of a mathematical harmony of music has been able to hold its ground in medical science, including the history of psychiatry. CELSUS (about 25-50 B.B.), who in his DE MEDICINA recommended the playing of music and the use of noise for the purpose of relieving patients with depressive complaints from their ailment.
In MEDIEVAL culture, one encounters again the ancient idea of n u m e r i c a l h a r m o n y, cosmos and human body. If the order in the human body became disturbed in relation to relation to the established provided by the macrocosm, then the right balanca could be restored by means of musical instruments. The development of religious music cannot be ignored either, as it had been used in the treatment of depressions
After RENAISSANCE, athe AGE of REASON, M u s i c T h e r a p y, along with the therapeutic regiments for the body, for example, the fresh air, exercise and rest, harmony and balance in eating and sleeping, the use of medication, became ana integral part of reconstructing the human body and soul. The famous physician ESQUIROL, in his book “Des Maladies Mentales“, wrote: “I have often used music, but very rarely I obtained a favorable result from this medium. It pacifies the mind, but it does not cure..” To him, the classic medicine had overestimated the curative effect of music. Strange enough, in spite of music’s curative effect, some beloved musicians were at least depressed; the examples: Beethoven, Schumann, Rossini, Tchaikowski and Puccini.
TURKISH MUSIC and MUSIC THERAPY
The utilization of Turkish Music as a therapeutic agent in Turkish history goes back about one thousand years. Great philosophers, like FARABİ, İBNİ SİNA and RAZİ all had advocated the o c c u p a t i o n a l t h e r a p y and adjunctive m u s i c t h e r a p y in their books and treating the mentally ill.
The historical documents inidicate the existence of well-established therapy methods in Edirne, Sivas ve Erzurum kents. The most known one was in Haseki Hospital grounds, in Istanbul City. Music was performed with n e y, a wind instrument like flute; k u d ü m, an instrument with betas, like drum; later on by u d (a string instrument, built on a wooden, round apparatus played with “picks = mızraps”, and k a n u n (canoon), multi-strings, flat instrument played through putting on the knees, left hand arranging the flats and sharps, also helping right hand to play notes. These last two ones, are known to have been invented by great Turkish philosopher FARABİ in the 13th century.
In 1990’s, in the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine, there was an established MUSICOLOGY INSTITUTE where a group of musicians, mostly from AZERBAYCAN, practicing Shamanistic rituals and dances through playing and singing. Once, reportedly, a German Professor had presented a “gall-Bladder Stones” case treated via this way. Strange enough, I am a graduate from Turkish Conservatory in 1952 and played “kanoon” long time in various conservatories and Istanbul radio, was originally invited to head these activities, along with a professorship in Child Psychiatry on the newely established department. Unfortunately this had never come true. I do not believe now thr group is active; about six months ago on Ch. 1 (Old TGRT), an Azerbaycan group had performed such a show for about half-an hour that I recorded. If I technically be able to mont it to the end of this writings, I’ll do so in a short while.
Needless to say, Turkish Music, quite different than Western Modern Music, is in a different structure. The main difference in the latter is that, in an octave, (from one ‘Do-ut’ to the higher tone ‘do-ut’) there are 14 equal intervals, whereas in Turkish Music, one octave is divided in 53 equal intervals (comas), and the lengths of the intervals are either four or five comas, constituting 9 comas between Do and Re (C and D), Re and Mi (D and E), and Fa and Sol (F and G), Sol and La (G and A), La and Si (A and B); and just 4 comas (not 4,5) between Mi and Fa (E and F) and Si and -upper- Do that is almost impossible to bring out parallel sounds with those of Western sounds.
(To be continued)