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Music and Healing Essay (Critical Writing)

Music is the notion that makes people think about the tunes they really adore. There are different genres and directions in music that help it to be in favor of different people. There are many specific qualities which apply to music. Thus, it may help think about something important, remain happy or remember something sad and unpleasant. However, there is an assumption that music possesses useful qualities, it can heal. The healing qualities of music are researched by numerous scholars.

They believe that listening to some specific genres in music it is possible to impact the particular organs in human organism. However, there are other ideas in regards to this belief. Reading an article Sacred and Profance: Music in Korean Shaman Rituals by Keith Howard it seems obvious that music may be used as healing for human soul and body. Using the example of the shaman ritual the author wants to prove that music is healing not only to human soul, but also to human body.

One of the main priorities of shaman rituals is the music which sounds all the time the ritual is in action. Keith Howard is sure that this music can be useful. Thus, listening to music of the ritual which may serve as the stimulant, people can experience block out of the physical environment. Additionally, rhythmic sounds “can be used to regularise body activity or to destabilise mental and/or physical behaviour” (Howard 1).

Therefore, listening to active and rhythmic music people appear in the situation that their bodies are impacted by the rhythm even though people do not notice this. Human body is a complicated structure. Additionally, human brain has never been researched to the full, therefore, the perception of the music which appears constantly in rhythm might be perceived by the brain and delivered to the human body accordingly.

It is impossible to disagree with the statement that rhythmic music influences human brain and is reflected on the body. Listening to the rhythmic music many people want to dance, they feel how their body seems to be dancing. Is not this the proof that music impacts human consciousness? Dwelling upon the shaman rituals and rhythmic music used there, the author of the article mentions the impact of some particular instruments (double-headed drum and oboe) on human emotions.

Keith Howard is sure that “oboe is the melodic instrument considered closest to the human voice since it, virtually uniquely, is capable of the same wide and sudden fluctuations in dynamic, rapid and large melodic leaps, gentle ascending and descending portamenti, and subtle pitch shading” (Howard 2). The music impacts human emotion by means of heightening the change of rhythm, tone and other characteristics.

Additionally, the author states that “rhythm, whether in perception or action, is emotional when highly developed, and results in the response of the whole organism to its pulsations” (Howard 3). Pulsation is a kind of movement. Life is movement, the more people move, the healthier they remain. It seems that shaman rituals are aimed at those who want to remain healthy bearing the healing aspects on the human organism.

The final problem considered by Keith Howard in the article Sacred and Profance: Music in Korean Shaman Rituals is its belonging either to the sacred or secular uses. The author considers the history of the music paying much attention to the instruments and their origin. However, attention is paid to the origin of the music which is played during shaman rituals.

The author believes that it is really important not to distinguish the specific nature of music as being sacred it remains essential for every day of human life. The specific use of the music in such cultures where rituals are important is explained by the close connection of human spirit to the emotional side. Those people got used to rituals and consider them as an essential part of their life.

The rituals are always supported with rhythmic music that helps people remain active. Having a sound mind always presupposes having a sound body. Ancient cultures knew it and their desire to use rhythmic music in their rituals was a great opportunity for people to remain healthy in their everyday life, both physically and mentally.

Therefore, it may be concluded that the article under consideration Sacred and Profance: Music in Korean Shaman Rituals by Keith Howard states about the useful impact of music on human mind and body. The research conducted by the author helps draw conclusions that music is an essential healing for those who use it appropriately.

Rhythmic used during the shaman rituals is a good stimulator for human brain and body. Having an impact on human mind, music influences unconsciousness desire to move their bodies. The influence on emotional state cannot be even considered as everyone knows how music impacts human mood; the rhythm and melody may make a person both smile and cry influencing the general condition of human health.

Works Cited

Howard, Keith “Sacred and Profance: Music in Korean Shaman Rituals.” Indigenous Religious Musics. Eds. Ralls-Macleod and Harvey. New York: Ashgate: 2000.

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"Music and Healing." IvyPanda, 29 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/music-and-healing/.

1. IvyPanda. "Music and Healing." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/music-and-healing/.


IvyPanda. "Music and Healing." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/music-and-healing/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Music and Healing." March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/music-and-healing/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Music and Healing'. 29 March.

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