Music is considered by many to be one of the oldest healing remedies known to humankind.
History Of Music Therapy
In “”Music Therapy: From Antiquity to Today,” its mellifluous evolution can be traced back at least 35,000 years. L. Samuel Gracida says “Notions of music therapy go back for thousands of years. ‘The use of music to influence the human body was first mentioned in writing in Egyptian medical papyri dating back to 1500 BCE’ according to Rolando Benenzon. Greco-Roman, Arabian, Indian, and Chinese traditions of learned medicine all include various notions of music used in a therapeutic way. Stories and quotes from mythological and biblical sources also provide evidence of this.”
Early Sophist Views
Greek philosophers Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Plato were some of the earliest sophists to embrace the healing powers of music. Pythagoras believed that music was linked to mathematics, and also that it was an expression of something deeper. He explored, for instance, how various combinations of melodies played on the lyre, or sung, could influence a range of moods. Following Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle developed a system of thought that identified four effects of music. These included:
- Moving or imitating emotions
- Giving pleasure
- Disposing toward moral virtue
- Fostering intellectual advancement.
Here’s a brief youtube video about the recent history of music therapy.
Don’t Underestimate Its Effect
And regardless of the degree to which we realize what music does, it is likely wrapping its rhythms and melodies around us and changing the way that we feel. The more aware of this we become, the more we can consciously choose what we want it to do. And since everyone is so uniquely different, the effects of music can be quite individualized. However, some general dynamics of music that have been shown to have patterned effects include the parameters of exciting/calming and familiar/unfamiliar. My first healthcare credential was that of Registered Music Therapist (RMT).
A Little Dose Of Heaven
With these things in mind, I’d like to share the Youtube Album Playlist and Spotify Album Playlist of my latest collection, Billy Ray Norris – A Little Dose of Heaven. Most songs in this album were written to inspire hope, love, and inspiration; while a few were created to cathartically connect us with the feelings emerging from some commonly experienced life challenges.
For example, the title track, “A Little Dose of Heaven,” has reportedly provided hope and inspiration for many, while “Waitin’ for You” has been associated with feelings of love and inspiration for some, and sadness for others, based on current and past life circumstances. “I Couldn’t Tell You” offers an emotional connection for those experiencing infidelity, domestic violence, and alcoholism in relationships, along with the empowerment gained when breaking free.
When using music to influence our mood or state, it is important to initially listen to music that matches our current mood or state (e.g. energized, lethargic, sad, etc.) and then gradually switch it out to music that matches the place we want to be (e.g. relaxing, energized, happy, etc.). So at first the music must match the place we’re in right now, and then after a few of these songs we can gradually start playing music that represents the place we want to be. If we don’t start where we are, then it usually won’t work. This works great for kids, too, to help ease them into a more relaxed state, or get them going in the morning. You could create playlists for “from hyper-to-chill” or “from sleepy-to-energized,” etc.
Hope this helps, and hope you enjoy this natural country remedy!
Photo Credit: Fire Prince Music, BMI