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History of Music Therapy Although it is only in recent times that scientists have started to document the effects of music the qualities of music were understood even in earliest times Evidence suggests that dance and song preceded speech which means that music is the original language of humans Researchers have found that about two-thirds of the inner ears cilia resonate only at the higher frequencies that are commonly found in music 3000 - 20000 Hz This seems to indicate that primitive humans communicated primarily through song or tone The ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras best known for his work in mathematics thought the whole universe was comprised of sounds and numbers There has long been awareness that music affects us even if the reasons are not clear Around 900 BC David played the harp to cure Sauls derangement Gonzalez-Crussi One of the worlds oldest medical documents the Ebers Papyrus circa 1500 BC prescribed incantations that Egyptian physicians chanted to heal the sick This is perhaps the first recorded use of music for therapy The positive influence of music may have also saved Beethovens life in the early eighteenth century In a letter he wrote I would have ended my life-it was only my art that held me back Kamien Every human civilization has developed some sort of musical idiom and has used it as a form of tranquilizer as a lullaby Great civilizations have developed without the wheel without a written language without money but the use of soothing sounds seems to be a very basic component of human physiology There are distinct differences between compositions of different societies but in spite of this they can convey the same moods the same feelings in all people As Louis Pasteurs Germ Theory of Illness launched the era of scientific medicine music largely faded from formal medical settings Fortunately it never completely disappeared American medicine first started experimenting with the therapeutic use of music during the nineteenth
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