e it Classical, Pop, Rock, or Jazz, music remains a part of all human cultures and societies since eternity. Music not only pacifies the problems of a person, it keeps the mind and soul cheerful. It also has been a crucial component in all forms of entertainment. However, the biggest contribution of music to human civilisation is its healing power.
Ahead of World Music Day, June 21, Sunday POST caught up with a few music therapists who shared their views on the magical power of music.
The practice of music therapy has helped Dr. Sucheta Rakshit save quite a few lives. Rakshit, the first person in Odisha and only the second in India after Dr Bhaskar Khandekar of Jabalpur, to have a doctorate in Music Therapy on Neurology, says she has seen miracles happening before her eyes. People, who lose their senses in accidents, have immensely benefited after undergoing music therapy. With the therapeutic treatment, they not only have gained sense but also have overcome the memory loss, she states.
An advisor to Indian Board of Alternative Medicines, she claims, there are cases when people have recovered from depression, headache, migraine, blood pressure, diabetes and post-operative recoveries, infertility and natal handicaps if treated with required ‘Raga’ for their respective ailments.
Dr Rakshit has successfully treated neuro patients and their corresponding ailments with different musical ‘Ragas’.
“Raga Sarang is applied for headaches, Raga Malhar is mostly used as stress buster, Raga Bhairavi cures asthma/ sleeplessness, Raga Darbari for cardiac ailments, Raga Pancham eases stomach ailments and Raga Shivranjani is applied to address memory loss. The variations of frequency in different ragas can stimulate the dying tissues,” adds Balasore-based Rakshit, a former producer of Doordarshan who has bagged multiple honours for her contributions to the society in various forms.
Impact on plants, animals
Aurosish Pani, a classical vocalist in Odisha shares his understanding of application of ‘Ragas’ to heal illness. The Associate Professor at Shankar Mahadevan Academy acknowledges how people are embracing music therapy both globally and in India.
“This is beyond genres of all kinds of music. It acts as a big time catalyst in assisting people to accept the medication” says Pani.
“There is no dearth of instances when experimentation of music on flora and fauna yielded amazing results. Studies also suggest how music has stimulated growth in plants when they are exposed to classical music and how humans have been able to tame the wild with melodies”, he states.
Power of music
Sharing the profound effect of music on individuals, eminent Hindustani Vocalist Pandit Debendra Narayan Satapathy says, “Music therapy that is emerging now in medical science has been in the Vedas since ages. The Adivaasis adopted the approach and compiled phonetics and mantras since the inception of civilization.”
“Raag or raga is a series of musical notes on which a melody is based and it expresses different moods for different times of the day”, he adds.
Speaking about the amazing power of music, he continues: “Bhairava, an ancient raag, cures cold, cough, sinusitis and that has been tested. Similarly, Brahma Kamal, an extinct flower species found in the Himalayas, could be abloomed in our climate using Ginguti Raga and Misra-Pahadi. Raag Puriya Dhanashree is used worldwide as a stress buster and for insomnia issues. There are other ragas also that trigger agricultural growth.”
“The miraculous effect of all the ragas has been traced back to the Samveda era. Listening to good music has always enhanced the growth and development of not only humans but also plants and animals”, concludes Satapathy.
Music and psyche
Eminent psychiatrist Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi shared his profound knowledge and experience in music with Sunday POST.
“Music Therapy is an efficient form of alternative therapy treating major psychiatric disorders. History has witnessed various aspects that describe the relationship between music and psychiatry” says Dr. Pattojoshi. “Brain can be permanently modified by musical training” he adds.
“Music has numerous applications within a psychiatric setting in the form of creating background and group singing sessions. It has a positive effect on therapeutic environments like positive alteration in moods, improved concentration, developing coping and relaxation skills, self-esteem, enhancing self-awareness and engaging in more social interactions,” he says.
Sambit Nanda, a distinguished psychologist in Odisha, says music is the best companion of a human being.
“A study reveals when a person is downhearted, he relates to the lyrics with his life and when he’s joyful he rather enjoys the music of the song” says Nanda.
“It creates a balance, raises hope and is a mood lifter. Ghazals, sufi music, classical and instrumental music are the most powerful ones. This includes our everyday experience in workplaces. Music builds an environment for sustaining motivation for daily activities. Children with special needs are one of the beneficiaries of music therapy through soothing and sensory music,” adds Nanda.