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music therapy


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									                                   Music therapy
                                    Marlise Maurer*
 We live in a hectic world and our senses are continuously bombarded with
impressions. Our eyes in particular are exposed to continuous stimuli. We can close
them if we get tired of too many sights, but this is not true with our ears. We cannot
close our ears, or turn them off. They are helplessly exposed to our loud and noisy
civilization. Let us look at some cold facts. The ear's pain threshold is at 130 decibels,
but anything above 90 decibels has a harmful effect. For comparison, airplanes
register 110 to 130 decibels, factory noises are 70 to 120 decibels. Young people
sometimes listen to music at 100 to 110 decibels. After an hour of noise at even 80
decibels, people need 2 hours of complete rest in order to recover completely. These
numbers are something to think about. Even more alarming is the frequency observed
phenomenon that people today seem to need some kind of an acoustical stimulus,
such as a radio that is always on. This is not a good sign because it gives rise to
disharmonies between their body, soul and spirit.
 Music has always been accompanying people since antiquity. It has an indisputable
place in joyful events such as baptisms, blissful love and marriage, and also in sad
ones like disappointed, rejected love, inner pain and funerals. We used to have rain
dances and war songs. Individual months and festivals are greeted with songs. In
general, there is no art that is as closely connected to people in so many different life
situations as music. The Old Testament shows us that one can also heal with music:
"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took
the harp and played with his hand. So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil
spirit departed from him" (1 Sam. 16:23).
 A special feature of music is that it reaches human beings directly, regardless of
their age and level of education. The physicist Ernst Chladni investigated the fields of
forces connected with individual sounds and he discovered his famous sound figures.
These wonderful geometrical figures point to the field of forces that lies behind the
tones, and to something greater and more spiritual. This is what David and all other
musical therapists try to use in their healing efforts. Beethoven was referring to this
higher element when he wrote to Bettina Brenato, "Music is a higher revelation than
all wisdom and philosophy. It is the only disembodied entrance into a higher world of
wisdom which no doubt embraces man, although he is unable to grasp it."
 A musical experience is always a soul experience to begin with. We take music into
our souls, (of course, the physiological hearing process accompanies this) and we feel
happy when we hear fiery, lively music, thoughtful with serious music, and sad with
mournful music. A largo calms us and an allegro enlivens us. As a rule, a symphony,
sonata, or other complete piece of music is an all-encompassing organism, which is
enclosed in itself and can be compared with a healthy, harmonious organism. If
someone has become sick, body, soul and spirit are no longer in harmony. The music
therapist now tries to produce a new harmony in the patient. This is achieved through
certain so-called fundamental musical elements which are taken from a whole, healthy
symphony, or from another musical form. A repetitive process or exercise replaces the
element that is missing in the patient and tends to restore the harmony between his
spirit, soul and body. This occurs through the self-healing forces, which are aroused
by art.
  All the musical instruments as a totality constitute another healthy and harmonious
organism. If we look at the threefold human being, at head, chest and limbs, and if we
divide the instruments into strings, winds and percussion, we soon see natural
relationship between them. Wind instruments are blown by our heads, and as such
constitute an extension of our windpipes. String instruments look like a body without
a head and limbs. Plucking instruments are played against one's chest or heart. We
need our arms to beat drums, and we can hardly keep our legs still when marches and
dance music are played. Thus we find the following correspondences:
Head – wind instruments
Chest and torso – stringed instruments
Limbs – percussion instruments
This means that the use of a wide variety of musical instruments is very important for
music therapy. We only use instruments that are easy to play and we use quite a few
unusual ones, like lyre, chrotta, bells, copper flute and more.
In anthroposophical music therapy we do not use registered music, but play all music
personally. This gives the best resonance from the self-healing forces. It is
recommended to work together with a medical doctor.
Music therapy is a very effective and even pleasant therapy.

    ‫* מרליס מאורר עובדת כתרפיסטית במוסיקה מזה 25 שנים ומנהלת את בית הספר לתרפיה במוסיקה‬
                .‫לאור הגישה האנתרופוסופית בברן, שוויץ. מנחה קורסים לטיפול במוסיקה גם בארץ‬
                                          yael@harduf.org.il      ‫לפרטים נא לפנות ליעל ברק‬

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