Next is now, world music as the single most potent force in the culture of fusion ... World music-makers are like shamans, carrying us on magic carpets of riffs and melodies through states of consciousness that spin us out of time to lands not yet invented but glimpsed on the aural horizon ... And so we see that music brings us, in the jumping of our cells, from what is past to what is trying to become the future. lt expresses and fulfills our need to hear the spirit in the dark.
(Jean Houston in Jump Time, Sentient Publ. 2004)
Groove Music - A Healthy Beat!
As a music genre, groove music in its many and varied forms has been a popular genre for a long time. Its mellow beats and smooth, flowing harmonics make it easy to listen to whilst relaxing, or as background music to take the edge off after a long, hard day.
Recently, however, people have been reawakened to a realisation made hundreds of years ago by our ancestors: groove music (and music in general) isn't just great entertainment, it's healthy to boot!
Music as an aid to health and healing is a concept that has now (finally!) found a place in today's culture, and a brief consideration of it's history can illustrate the profound affect that healing music can have in our daily lives.
Healing music in history
The ancient Greeks and Egyptians believed that music could change behavioural patterns and accelerate healing. Plato, a Greek philosopher, stated "Music has the capacity to touch the innermost reaches of the soul."
Tribal music - particularly chanting and toning - has been shown to affect the body at a cellular level. Vibrational frequencies have the power to change molecular structure, as well as inducing a changed state of consciousness to heighten the affects of meditation, aid relaxation and even change our moods.
In more modern times scientists have described something known as The Mozart Effect, noting that listening to classical music heightened sensitivity and creativity. Healing music has the power to physically affect heart rate, blood pressure and brain waves, aid concentration, relax, inspire, motivate and move us on many levels.
Groove music = mood music
We're all aware of the concept of groove music as 'mood music'. Our choice in music for a particular occasion is often governed by mood: techno or other high energy sounds for housework and exercise; ballads for that romantic evening with a special someone; lounge music for socialising. Our mood and state of mind has been shown to have a significant affect on our health, and the use of music in therapy is now an accepted and respected treatment method.
|Africa Calling (World Beat Mix) by TNA Groove||Hardy Ari by Ariel Kalma|
|Watch on YouTube: Tribal Groove 2||Watch on YouTube: Tribal Groove 2|
The physical, scientific reason behind this is that the tones, vibrations and harmonies of a piece of music affect our limbic system, the seat of emotions in the human brain, therefore having a physical affect on our mental and emotional state which, in turn, affects our bodies.
An interesting practical indicator of the affect hat music has on mood and physiology is the example of movie soundtracks. Imagine for a moment the sight of Freddy stalking his victims through A Nightmare On Elm Street to a background of Aqua's "Barbie Girl" or maybe a little Enya, or Jaws closing in on his dinner to the strains of the Sesame Street soundtrack. Somehow it just wouldn't be quite the same.
No, movie soundtracks are designed to create anticipation, tension, sorrow, and elation - they move us, even if sometimes they just move us to hit the 'mute' button and hide under the doona (or swear off swimming and beaches for life!). A quick and interesting demonstration of just how profound the affect of background music can be!
Choose your music carefully
Now that we're becoming more health conscious and aware of what we're putting into our bodies, the same care should be exercised in our choice of music. Groove music as medicine has the potential to be of great benefit to our health and wellbeing, and the really great thing is that it's available to everyone, anywhere - you don't even need a prescription!