Human beings face different kinds of sicknesses in life. While many overcome them, some succumb to one or the other. As the world progresses, concomitant problems surface in different ways, and as a result humanity doesn’t progress in the manner it could be expected to.
While there are many stress-busters available to handle tensions in life, music seems to have an overriding and therapeutic effect on the stresses and sickness that humans endure. Music is thought to bring forth miracles by healing wounded hearts and minds; it has magical powers to transform lives. Even a foetus in the womb apparently vibes with certain types of it. So, how exactly can music help us in our lives and influence us in a positive manner?
Diversity in sickness
Sickness can be quite diverse. It could be physical, physiological, psychological, psychosomatic and so on, and it can have a profound impact on one’s body and mind. Today we find psychological stress to be more common than before, leading to a situation of concern to humanity. While there are different medical methods available to handle medical conditions, with their own promise and challenge, virtually all treatment regimes have side-effects too. Appropriate music is a therapy that would largely bring down the intensity of such medical aberrations in an individual, as it has its soothing effect in bringing down stress.
Diversity in notes
Music is not restricted to one note or an entity. Whether it is string instruments or wind instruments (veena, guitar, and so on, or piano, or organ, or saxophone) we find a fusion of many notes when played. The notes, though diverse, when simultaneously played in a synchronised manner present a chord which is the unification and blending of many notes. These result in calmness and peace.
Diversity and peace
There is no better country than India to explain diversity in its totality, as it is rich in every sense of the term. We could learn clear and apt lessons from music. Musical notes are diverse, each superior in its own way. For example, the treble cleft notes EGBDF, space notes FACE, or the bass cleft notes, GBDFA, space notes ACEG, or the strings of the guitar bearing the notes EBGDAE, each when played can give a unique tone.
The grandeur of music comes from the harmony they bring when these notes are struck or played together through the musical instrument. Harmony and peace are entwined, and where there is harmony, there is peace, whether between two or among a multitude. Accomplishing this virtue is the need of the hour both in India and the world at large.
Orchestra & harmony
In a musical orchestra we find a multitude of instruments of a varied nature being used to provide scores and background for playback singers. We find the controlling and facilitating power of the music director to synchronise the different musical tones that come from instruments, to the taste and design of the musical composition the music director has conceived. So is the human population in a given environment: though it is diverse in every sense, if blended well as a music director handles music, it could lead to peaceful and harmonious coexistence of the biota, which include the environment, too.
United we progress
It is essential that we work in tandem: we all know unity is power. As a country with over 1.3 billion people representing a wide range of diversity, it is imperative that we stand united even as divisive forces impede us in many walks of life. The lesson from music should bind us together in order to bring out the best from each one of us and create a synergy for goodwill and progress.
Comparing our nation with other developed countries and also with those that are younger to us, we are far behind. We should and can do much better in any field provided we pool all our resources, including our intellectual resources. Music teaches us to have an amalgamation of our strengths both individually and collectively.
The author, the Principal of Madras Christian College, is a music-lover and a professional player of a few instruments. Elmhurst College, Chicago, conferred the Lamda Sigma Psi on him recently. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org