Music can entertain, shift our mood, relieve stress, promote cognitive development, make us better at recognizing emotion in sound, and now scientists search for evidence that music can heal, according to The New York Times article "Composing Concertos in the Key of Rx" by Matthew Gurewitsch:
One expert who is betting that it will is Vera Brandes, the director of the research program in music and medicine at the Paracelsus Private Medical University in Salzburg, Austria. “I am the first musical pharmacologist,” Ms. Brandes said last fall in Vienna. In that capacity she is developing medication in the form of music, dispensed as a prescription. To market the product line, she helped found Sanoson (sanoson.at), a company that also designs custom music systems for medical facilities.
“Conventionally hypertensive patients are treated with beta blockers, which suppress their symptoms,” Ms. Brandes said. “Music can address the psychosomatic root causes.”
According to her study, listening to a specially designed music program for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for four weeks, patients experienced clinically significant improvements in heart-rate variability, a major indicator of autonomous nervous function. In her next study Ms. Brandes will subject these findings to a full-fledged clinical trial.
Click here to read the full article.