Thursday, December 15, 2011
Music has been used as a healing force for centuries. Music therapy goes back to biblical times, when David played the harp to rid King Saul of a bad spirit. As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his mental patients. Aristotle described music as a force that purified the emotions. In the thirteenth century, Arab hospitals contained music-rooms for the benefit of the patients. In the United States, Native American medicine men often employed chants and dances as a method of healing patients. Music therapy as we know it began in the aftermath of World Wars I and II. Musicians would travel to hospitals, particularly in the United Kingdom, and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma.