therapy is a scientific method of effective cures of disease through
the power of music. It restores, maintains and improves emotional,
physiological and psychological well being. The articulation, pitch,
tone and specific arrangement of swars (notes) in a particular raga
stimulates, alleviates and cures various ailments inducing electro
magnetic change in the body.
therapy has a long history dating back to ancient Orphic school in
Greece. Pythagorus, Plato and Aristotle, all were aware of the
prophylactic and therapeutic powers of music. Even the old testament
mentions music therapy where King David is said to have cured an
illness by playing on the harp. Hippocrates, the father of modern
medicine, used music to cure human diseases. In ancient Egypt music
was used to lessen the pain of women during childbirth. Ibn Sina, a
famous Arabic writer, has written in detail on this subject. In India
legend has it that Thyagaraja, the famous musician of South India,
brought a dead person back to life by singing the composition Naa
Jeevan Dhara in raga Bihari. In 1729 Richard Browne, a physician
wrote the famous text Medicina Musica which describes the use of
music as medicine. Dr Burnell has mentioned a manuscript named Raga
Chikistsa in the collections of Saraswati Mahal Library in Tanjore
which deals with the various ragas that can be used for curing
various ailments. What is music? "Music is a kind of
inarticulate, unfathomable speech which leads us to the edge of the
infinite and lets us for a moment gaze in that" observed
Carlyle. Music is basically a sound or nada generating particular
vibrations which moves through the medium of ether present in the
atmosphere and effects the human body. Sarangdev mentions in his
Sangeet Ratnakar that ahata nada or music is always produced by
striking or aghata by a living being on an instrument of any kind. So
music is a power or universal energy in the form of ragas.
(9-10th century AD) was the earliest writer to define raga. According
to him "raga is that kind of sound composition consisting of
melodic movements which has the effect of colouring the hearts of
men". "There are four sources of raga: folk songs, poetry,
devotional songs of mystics and compositions of classical musicians.
While harmony is the characteristic of Western music, Indian music is
pure melody. The general term for melody in India is raga or ragini".
(Kangra Ragmala -- M.S. Randhawa).
of raga have a definite soothing effect on the mind as well as on the
body. Repeated listening to the particular raga being chosen for a
particular disease produces a network of sound vibration. The
muscles, nerves and the chakras of the affected part are contracted
when one impulse is given and relaxed during the interval between two
impulses. Thus, during contraction of the tissue, musical notes make
the blood flow out from that particular area and in the interval
there is relaxation and a state of reduced pressure is produced in
these areas. Thus the blood from the adjacent area will flow there.
This process is repeated again and again and the blood flow and
energy flow in that part is enhanced. This makes quick, fast healing.
Energy from URF (universal energy field) to HEF (human energy field)
transmitted by the strokes of the different tones of raga affects the
CNS (central nervous system) because the roots of the auditory nerves
are more widely distributed and have more connections than any other
nerves in the body. Music beats have a very close relationship with
heart heats. Music having 70-75 beats per minute equivalent to the
normal heart beat of 72 has a very soothing effect. Likewise rhythms
which are slower than 72 beats per minute create a positive suspense
on the mind and body since the mind body complex anticipates that the
music will speed up and this restored vital energy gives a deep
relaxation to the body. Rhythms which are faster than the heart rate
excite and rejuvenate the body.
musical considers ragas as depicting specific moods. An appropriate
mood is to be evoked in the listener's mind before initiating the
musical treatment. Kafi Raga evokes a humid, cool, soothing and deep
mood while Raga Pooriya Dhanasri evokes sweet, deep, heavy, cloudy
and stable state of mind. Raga Mishra Mand has a very pleasing,
refreshing, light and sweet touch while Bageshwari arouses a feeling
of darkness, stability, depth and calmness.
is considered the best tranquiliser in modern days of anxiety,
tension and high blood pressure. Raga Darbari is considered very
effective in easing tension. It is a late night raga composed by
Tansen for Akbar to relieve his tension after hectic schedule of the
daily court life. This raga belongs to Asavari That and is a complete
raga containing all the seven notes. The seven notes are taken from
various natural sounds of birds and animals. Pandit Jasaraj's Ram
Ko Sumiran Kar in Vilambil Ek Tal is one of the best available
recordings of this majestic raga. Pandit Raghunath Seth's Raga
Darabari (instrumental) in a Music Therapy cassette named Tanav is
especially composed for easing tension.
Balaji Tambe has proved through his scientific research that Raga
Bhupali and Todi give tremendous relief to patients of high blood
pressure. Raga Ahir-Bhairav is supposed to sustain chords which
automatically brings down blood pressure. This raga is a combination
of Kafi and Bhairav. Pandit Jasaraj's Aj to anand anand in
Druti-teen tal is one of the best vocal performances of this
Malkauns and Raga Asawari helps to cure low blood pressure. Malkauns
and Raga Asawari helps to cure low blood pressure. Malkauns a very
prominent raga of Bhairavi That (composition of musical notes from
which the raga originates) is one of the oldest ragas of Indian
classical Music. Re and pa are absent in this raga, all the other
notes used are komal (soft). The timeless performance by Pandi
Onkarnath Thakur in Paga ghunghroo baje Mira nache re is one of the
best known examples of this raga.
heart ailments Raga Chandrakauns is considered very helpful. Certain
other prominent ragas for relaxation and easing tension are Raga
Tilak-kamod, Hansdhwani, Kalavati, Durga. They evoke a very pleasing
effect on the nerves. For patients suffering from insomnia and need a
peaceful sonorous sleep, Raga Bihag and Bahar have wonderful effects.
Ragas are closely related to different parts of the day according to
changes in nature and development of a particular emotion, mood or
sentiment in the human mind. Bhairav is sung an hour before dawn,
Ramkali at dawn, Vilavali at sunrise, Sarang at noon, Nata and Malava
in the afternoons, Gaudi in the evenings, Kalyan at night, Kedara,
Chandra and Bihag late in the night.
therapy treatment is conducted either early morning, evening or
night. One should avoid long music sessions on an empty stomach.
Music sessions should be of one hour duration with two or three short
sessions with breaks.