Music related to the Mozart Theory

Essay by IonaUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2004

download word file, 13 pages 4.3 1 reviews

History of Music Therapy

        Although it is only in recent times that scientists have started to document the effects of music, the qualities of music were understood even in earliest times. Evidence suggests that dance and song preceded speech, which means that music is the original language of humans. Researchers have found that about two-thirds of the inner ear's cilia resonate only at the higher frequencies that are commonly found in music (3,000 - 20,000 Hz). This seems to indicate that primitive humans communicated primarily through song or tone.

        The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, best known for his work in mathematics, thought the whole universe was comprised of sounds and numbers. There has long been awareness that music affects us, even if the reasons are not clear. Around 900 B.C., David played the harp "to cure Saul's derangement" (Gonzalez-Crussi). One of the world's oldest medical documents, the Ebers Papyrus (circa 1500 B.C.),

prescribed incantations that Egyptian physicians chanted to heal the sick. This is perhaps the first recorded use of music for therapy. The positive influence of music may have also saved Beethoven's life in the early eighteenth century. In a letter he wrote, "I would have ended my life-it was only my art that held me back" (Kamien).

        Every human civilization has developed some sort of musical idiom and has used it as a form of tranquilizer, as a lullaby. Great civilizations have developed without the wheel, without a written language, without money, but the use of soothing sounds seems to be a very basic component of human physiology. There are distinct differences between compositions of different societies, but in spite of this, they can convey the same moods, the same feelings, in all people.

        As Louis Pasteur's Germ Theory of Illness launched the era of scientific medicine, music...