The Indian Music Therapy

Posted on May 21, 2010

K. Spurty Rao:

Man is born with Music & Music remains throughout his life. As Bryon said – “There’s music in the sighing of a reed, there’s music in the gushing of a rill, there’s music in all things, if men had ears: their earth is but an echo of the spheres.” Music is the eye of the ear. It can transfer us to a whole new world. It has the power to take us to the pinnacles of pleasure. Music is the language of sound and it is an inborn instinct in every human being.

Indians have a rich musical tradition. In fact, music is deep-rooted in our DNA. Indian classical music has one of the most complex and complete musical systems ever developed. The Indian music system has 7 basic notes. They are – Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa. It is believed that these notes evolved from the Nature like the Sa evolved from the cooing of Peacock, Re from the mooing of the Cow, Ga from the bleating of the Goat, Ma from the cooing of the Krouncha, Pa from the cooing of the Cuckoo, Dha from the neigh of the Horse, and Ni from the trumpet of the Elephant. Indian music is mainly based on Raga. Raga means feeling. Since a human can experience innumerable feelings, there are innumerable ragas too. A raga has the ability to stir the heart. Ragas have the charm to soothe a savage beast, and even to soften the rocks. Children with austicity are given music therapy and this has produced miraculous effects on them. Ragas are said to have quite many effects on one’s state of mind and they are believed to produce effects on the environment. Rag Abhogi is said to increase appetite. When in despair try listening to Rag Maya Malava Gowla. It is said to lift one’s spirits. Likewise Indian music system is full of such ragas each with a behaviour of its own distinctly different from the others.

The musical tradition of India is abounding with stories and reports of the healing effects of ragas. Ragas can change the nature of beings as well as objects. We often hear about instant cures of human beings as well as animals from all kinds of diseases, of successful taming of wild beasts, of influencing plant growth, the weather, all chemical processes, digestion, circulation and so forth. While all of this may not be true there is some amount of truth in it too.

Rag interspersed with Taal is used to accelerate or slow down heart-beat and metabolism, to produce heat or cold. They also have control over our emotions such as desire, frustration, happiness, energy, lethargy etc. This is what people call the Indian Music Therapy.

All the customs, practices, and traditions that originated in India have a scientific backing and reasoning. This music therapy too has got its own scientific advantages. It can heal anything from a broken heart to a cardiac arrest.

Now, with the heat soaring, it’s time for Rag Megh Malhar!!!

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