Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pychomantiums, Music and Music Therapy

I am currently reading "Musicophilia", a fascinating book on music and the brain. It is interesting that this book discusses how the innate appeal of music to most people seems to defy both the notion that all human traits can be traced back to an evolutionary purpose. Music of couse can't help us to survive so it would seem to fall outside the Darwinian framework which so often in the realm of scientism, seems to claim to be a univesal explaination for all that is alive and indeed, all that is human.

Recent studies on where music comes from in the brain also seems to refute this in that music does not come from one single part of the brain and in fact, is both a right and left brained activity.

What we do know about music if we speak outside of the scientific realm, is that it seems to speak to our soul, to what is most human in us. Not a biological collection of evolved functions but what is human. It speaks to hour hope, our fears, our dreams, our anger and perhaps at times, our nightmares as well. Music in effect acts as a mirror on our soul. As I have said many times, we don't play music it plays us.

So what interests me, and why I sometimes frequent music therapy web sites, is that they seem to be attune to the healing aspects of music but also its strong psychological effects, negative and positive. What I am interested in is if there are universal Jungian type archetypes of sound? R Murray Schafer speaks about this in his "The Tuning of the World". Consider for example the power of the sound of the bell in many cultures. Is there anything universal about these sounds?

And if so, then where does this put the synthesizer. Before it, we were limited to fixed instrument sounds but now, the possibilities are greatly expanded. We can produced sounds that nobody has heard before.

So the synthesizer can in a sense act as a psychomantium to illicit emotional responses in us before not possible or so it might seem. What I am interested in doing is trying to learn the hidden language of the mind so as to use a synthesizer as a tool to speak that very language.

1 comment:

Stefan said...

There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy BĂ©rard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: