"Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired" (Boethius cited by Storr).
Music accompanies us throughout our life, from early childhood. Every day most of us listen to different music, but doubly anyone thinks about the enormous impact it has on us: happy and sad, soft and sensitive, strong and proud. It is a mistake to believe that music is only for entertainment. It has much more features: the ability to have an impact on the psychological and physical condition, it ennobles man when working on his soul, making his life easier, gives vent to emotions and feelings, helps to express themselves and understand others, gathering together people all over the world, regardless their gender, race, age, social class, sexual orientation, and disability, culture (national origin, ethnicity, religion). Long before the birth of Christ, physicians, philosophers, scientists, priests, teachers of various schools of thoughts in different countries and eras used musical instrument play as a means of recovery and treatment of the mental state and body health. It was in ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, in ancient China, India and other countries. Even then we realized that the quiet and calm melody makes people balance themselves and strengthens their body (DeNora, 18). Ancient doctor and physician Avicenna used music as well as he used herbs and other drugs and diet to treat and cure his patients. With the help of music he was able to heal even mentally ill people. Ancient scholars thought that the music establishes the order in the universe, restores the harmony in the body (Rizvi, n.p.). Even in ancient times researches defined three areas of music influence on the human body: human spiritual essence, intelligence and the physical body. It was known that the sound vibrations (and, in particular, music) are capable of exerting an effective therapeutic or pathogenic effects on the human body and mind. Pythagoras, who, among other flattering titles, is called "the first music therapists," created a methodology of such therapy and was successfully applying it.
Scientific evidence is gradually accumulating and confirms the knowledge of ancient sages that music is the most powerful source of energy that affects humans (DeNora, 5). Music and rhythm are widely used during the rites and other religious activities. Enough to knock with the stick on the arch inside a log, and this is ready tempo-rhythmic pattern. Ancient people made such a discovery and results are used to accompany the rites of initiation into warriors prepare for the hunt, which implied the active involvement of a body-motor component. A striking example is the shamanic practice known among different nations of the world. Specially selected rhythmic beats shaman drum facilitated entry into the special state of consciousness, both the shaman and audience member (DeNora, 5). Music is able to unite the people in a single emotional impulse, to inspire confidence in the victory. It expresses the joy of victory and helps to survive the grief of those who died in battle (DeNora, 6).
How does music affects human? The mechanism of music influence on people is through the sound. Sounds surrounded the humans from immemorial times. There was even no music at all, but there were birds singing, brook babbling, the rustling twigs and rustling leaves, thunder, the noise of the surf, the wind whistling, roaring beast etc. All these sounds surrounded people and informed them about the environment. They even learned how to re-play those sounds, to lure the birds and animals while hunting for them. On the basis of congenital and acquired experience, a person perceives sounds differently. For example, a high screech was an alarm. At the same time there were soothing sounds - the sound of rain, the wind whistling.
But the sounds themselves - it is not the music. In ancient times people understood that the sounds are different: high and low, long and short, loud and muted and clear. But only when people began to organize these sounds to express them into our thoughts and feelings - music had been founded.
Music has several types: classical, folk, pop, rock, jazz, etc. Music types are defined:
- On their environment and functions: military, church, religious, theater, dance, film music, etc.;
- The nature of performance: vocal, instrumental, chamber, vocal and instrumental, choral, solo, electronic, piano, and others.
Classical music stands out peruse all other kinds, which possesses the most powerful source of energy, has a healing effect and a positive effect on a person. Since the XIX century science has accumulated a lot of information about the music effects on people, as a result of experimental studies (O'Donnell, n.p.). The experiments were conducted in several directions:
- The impact of instrumental music;
- The impact of the music of the great music geniuses of mankind;
- The impact of several exact music compositions;
- The impact of different music genres.
Scientists have proven that the more people listen to classical music, the better they feels! Classic music beneficially affects both: as on the physical, as on the moral condition of a person, it can even "manage" human mood and has beneficial effects on internal organs (O'Donnell, n.p.). Recently, so-called "Vivaldi effect" was discovered: a regular listening of his famous symphonic composition "The Four Seasons" improves the properties of the memory in the elderly people. Science knows "Mozart effect", when small children listen to the music of the great Austrian composer and develop intellectually. While listening to classical music, even physical pain could disappear (O'Donnell, n.p.).
Musical culture has gone beyond the circle of music lovers in the world today. Soul music, that affects the human condition, is now applied into therapy sessions, advertising, film, etc. Music has been used into psychotherapeutic purposes. It is used in the treatment of nervous disorders. Calm melodic music has a positive effect on people. It does not interfere with work and promotes concentration.
Experts believe that Mozart's music is the phenomenon - it has a positive effect on the human intellect. The experiments confirm that after listening to Mozart’s music increases the so-called "intelligence factor" for a several points. Interesting fact is that Mozart's music increased the intelligence ability of all experiment participants – for those who love Mozart, and those who do not like it (O'Donnell, n.p.). A regular course of music therapy has a positive effect on the human psyche, forms a human optimistic attitude, and makes the outside world more positive and joyful.
Everyone is free to choose what is closer to him. And yet, to keep yourself safe from disorder, it is necessary to fill in the surrounding environment with different types of art. And harmonic music will be a special panacea for many ills, because its sounds, that is able to make the world more beautiful and a human - more ideal.
Rizvi, Sajjad H. 'Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (C. 980—1037)'. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (n.d.) Web. 7 July 2015.
DeNora, Tia. Music In Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.
O'Donnell, Laurence. 'Music And The Brain'. Music Power (1999): n. pag. Web. 6 July 2015.