The sound of music
Nightingales and cuckoos are well-known and admired for their musical calls. Parrots, European goldfinch, American Robin birds, sparrows, peacocks and many other birds call out in soulful and musical notes. It has been scientifically proven that cows produce more milk when exposed to melodious music. It is also found that music stimulates the brains of birds, animals and man, alike.
The frogs croaking by the pond-side at night have a rhyme and rhythm, and so do the crickets and bumblebees. The constant whining of the mosquitoes may be annoying to our ears, but for them, it is a musical communication, informing each other of the availability of fresh human blood to be syringed out! However, if they “sing” into the ears of a musician, he may take it as a musical challenge posed to him by the mosquitoes. While people find an elephant orchestra amusing, it is believed that the elephants themselves find it calming and derive happiness from it.
Indian botanist Dr Jagdish Chandra Bose has scientifically established the fact that melodious music stimulates the growth of plants while violent music and sudden loud noise stunt their growth. In 1961 students and faculty at Annamalai University studied the effect of music on paddy fields. They found out that the fields exposed to Nagaswaram music of Rajaratnam Pillai every morning over a period of four months grew faster and better. There is a need to apply the melodious music therapy forward in various fields of human life.
Melodious music, whether it is eastern or western, has its effects and needs to be enjoyed within.
Non-melodious music, which is too noisy and uncomfortable, particularly to senior citizens, is preferred by youngsters. In a recent turn of events, researchers from Denmark have made a detailed comparative study of the melodious and non-melodious music and published a report on the effect of music on the protein chains of Amygdaloid bodies of the human brain and DNA changes. The damaging effects of non-melodious music are well brought out in that study.
Music is now being used for therapeutic purposes. Special children such as the ones affected by Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy or autism (to a mild extent) have shown improvement when exposed to Indian melodious music. So, it makes me wonder if we can use this therapy to bring about a positive change in criminals or terrorists? Can we use music in operation theatres, especially in pediatric clinics, to ease the tense atmosphere? Or perhaps to cure psychosomatic diseases particularly in senior citizens who feel lonely?
That’s some food for thought.
This blog post is by Serene Urbana resident Dr Rajaram.