The Integration of Music and Areas

All topics musical, not specifically piano-related

The Integration of Music and Areas

Postby Tranquillo » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:17 am

When I was in high school, during my last two years, I majored in English and Music. I spent a lot of time reading various texts, popular pieces and also literature. I spent a lot of time writing too, experimenting with different text types - poetry, digital texts (blogs), short stories, etc. From that experience, I found that language had a great correlation with music. I began to love artsongs, as there was this wonderful collaboration of words and music. As a writer, I loved to collect words and phrases that sounded so natural to the ear, however also having the ability to paint some of the most poignant images.

Now as a embark the new world of Music in University, I am contemplating a later study of music therapy. It would be interesting to look into the clinical practices of music. Music therapy is an active form of therapy. It is now used in nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other institutions. I think it would be interesting to see its abilities to aid anxiety as it has been proven that baroque music lowers the heart rate. I am not advocating an anhilation of medicine though, I am only suggesting other forms of diversional and creative therapy.

With saying that, I would be interested to see what others think about the holisity in the world. Specifically looking at how music is used and practiced. It would be very interesting to see how music contributes to other fields in the world, perhaps bringing ideas and inspiration to how we can apply and intergrate other fields with each other.
Last edited by Tranquillo on Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Integration of Music and Areas

Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:30 am

"Holicity" in music is a big concept, with many adherents and more than a few people who question some of the claims made for it. For example, the "Mozart Effect" has now been tested in several double-blind scientific studies and found to be non-existent (or, at least, too small to detect). I don't mean particularly to criticize any one person or idea, but merely to point out that there is a difference between saying that it makes sense that music might have certain effects and proving it.

With that preface, most medical professionals would agree that the mind plays an important role in disease progression or mitigation. Sometimes the effect is palliatory (beautiful music exercising a calming influence); sometimes it takes a more direct form in actually lessening symptoms more or less permanently. I haven't seen the claim about Baroque music lowering heart rate. If that's true, I wonder what rap music does. :D Music affects many other fields at least indirectly, including, for example, chemistry. Many eminent chemists are also musical artists and rely on music for relaxation.

I agree that music can be valuable in medicine, though probably as an adjunct to accepted, scientifically-tested therapy, rather than therapy itself. Although I understand why people are interested in "music therapy", I think that it's perhaps too strong a term to call it therapy. Perhaps "music-assisted therapy" might be more accurate. The only thing I would ask people evaluating music therapy to ask is whether there is quality scientific data supporting a given claim. Although you are much too young to remember this, in the early 70's something called laetrile (an extract of apricot pits) was all the rage for "cancer treatment". It was not FDA-approved in the U.S., so many people, including several celebrities, were going to Mexico for laetrile treatment. In the end it was proven to be worthless in scientific studies. Those people who insisted on laetrile may have lost their lives for nothing.

I'm not suggesting that music can't be valuable, when applied judiciously and in accord with accepted therapy, but merely that one must sort out the hype from the fact before using it. Since I have run this site for nearly 15 years as a public service, I think I have more than proven my devotion to music, so I'm not at all against the use of music. My hope is that more studies will be done on its effects on the brain and thence, the body, so that we really know what works and what doesn't.

Good luck in your medical career. I'm sure you'll find your musical background valuable.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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