Prof. Dr. med. Rosch / Prof. Dr. med. Koeditz • Music & Brain Medical Perspective
Prof. Dr. med.
There is a wealth of literature on the health and healing effects of music, its influence on emotions, physiology, cognitive skills and other aspects and numerous approaches and theories have been proposed to explain these (1, 2).
The present discussion will emphasise on the contributions of the classical composer and musicologist Peter Hübner, because we are most familiar with his developments.
The application of music in medicine has been practised in all high cultures. The most famous representative for this is the father of our scientific thinking: the Greek scholar, physician, musicologist, mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (around 500 B.C.). He not only investigated the close connection of music to mathematics but also explored its relevance to promoting health and healing.
As the classical composer Peter Hübner pointed out in his lectures at the Universities of Tel Aviv, Heidelberg and Magdeburg, Pythagoras assumed “that those same universal laws of harmony which naturally govern the microcosm of music also determine the harmony of the natural functions in the interior world of man himself and, furthermore, accord with those laws of harmony which direct the entire course of biological evolution
Pythagoras`s insights were explored further 1500 years later. The famous scholar and physician Avicenna took them up again and propagated them in the medical world. Avicenna knew about the power of emotions on bodily functions and medical music for him was a discipline to restore emotional balance and thus to relieve psychosomatic disorders.
For Avicenna the art of healing rested on three pillars: the treatment with music, the application of medically effective substances and on physiotherapeutic treatments, including surgery (4)