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Apollo, god of music and healing

Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain;
And hence the wise of ancient days adored
One power of physic, melody and song.

These words of Thomas Armstrong appeared when I was researching my forthcoming book, Lifemusic - Connecting people to time. (Due to be published in May by Archive Books). They describe Apollo who is often considered to be the god of music though of course only by Europeans. Yet, the healing properties of music have clearly been there since the beginning and certainly predate the period in which the precise manner in which healing functions was up for scientific observation.

The question \\\"how does music heal?\\\" may be unanswerable but that does not prevent my sceptical mind asking often how some of the currently practising musical healers justify claims which can often seem unsupported. However, in my book there is a chapter called Pathways to Healing which tries to demonstrate that the human imagination acts as a bridge or rather a kind of maze between the conscious mind and the unconscious and that these pathways have an autonomously created structure which music especially free improvisation, replicates. When people connect with these pathways they certainly seem to undergo some kind of transformation and the reconciliation of different aspects of mood may lead to a sense of wholeness which is physical as well as emotional.

It\\\'s not a proof, but it\\\'s a start.


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