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“MUSIC HEALS”

ÖZGÜR SALUR

Interview by Bora Durmaz

Everything vibrates in the universe. Each of the vibrations that reveal wave motions is known as sound waves. The rhythmic patterns of sound waves reveal the music. In that respect, vibrations that any object emit during their activities are sounds of music.

 

Since ancient times, music has taken place in human life and has been used by societies for the treatment of diseases.

 

The history of music therapy goes long way back, as long as the history of medicine. For most of the time, all therapy and treatment tools have been used together. Apollo, known as a lyrist in ancient Greek mythology, has been considered as “God of both music and medicine” and by playing lyre, Apollo helps people for their pain. In ancient Greeks music has been considered as the essence of all kinds of virtues and was recognized as a major factor in spiritual training and purification. Philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras; has researched and analysed the possibility of treating despaired and short tempered patients with certain melodies. According to him; “music, as a result of harmonies of sound, is the the most effective remedy when the harmonics in the body have been corrupted. Hippocrates; considered as the father of medicine took some of his patiens to a temple where chants have been sung. According to him; it is important to endevour music in diseases where patients cannot benefit from other means of medicine[1].

 

New neuroimaging techniques give way to new insights into the brain broadly and the musical aspects of the brain in particular.  Meta-analyses[2] of new neuroimaging studies show that music has been processed in a wide range of nerve systems located in human brain. While cognitive processes of music such as memory, mood state, attention and perception share the same network with non-musical brain functions; there are some neural circuitry that are only used for musical processes in brain[3].

 

Today, researchers agree that music can be used in the treatment of somatic and mental disorders. Researches show that many experts use music for the treatment of many disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, depression, learning difficulties, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, dyslexia, severe mental disorders, premature birth, cancer, brain injuries, dementia, migraine, substance abuse&addiction, as well as for coping with difficulties in prisons and at the end-of-life care. Many countries recognise music therapy and involve it to their social security system where treatment costs and expenses have been covered by the system. Recently some concrete steps have taken in this direction in our country as well.

 

We had a talk with composer and producer, music therapist and Europeen Music Therapy Confederation Turkey representative Mr. Özgür Salur about music therapy contributions to the medical treatments related with physical and mental health disorders and also its implementation as a supportive treatment.

 

Özgür Salur, has started his music education in conservatory while he was going to primary school. Then he studied in Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. Later; he has been studied music therapy in Jyväskylä Universtity, Finland. Today; he is one of well known expert on music therapy living in Turkey.

 

[1] Dr. Z. Işıl Birkan, Müzikle Tedavi, Tarihi Gelişimi ve Uygulamaları, Music Therapy, Its Historıcal Development And Applications, Self-employed doctor, Anesthesiology ve Reanimation Specialist, Akupunkturist, Ankara

[2] Meta Analysis; a quantitative statistical analysis of several separate but similar experiments or studies in order to test the pooled data for statistical significance.

[3] Şükrü Torun, Müziğin Beynimizdeki Yolculuğu, Anadolu University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Cognitive Neuroscience ve Neurologic Music Therapy Unit, Eskişehir