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Stayin' alive! How music has fought pandemics for 2,700 years

Other benefits of music

Since the time of ancient Greece, medicine claimed that maintaining a positive mind can help treat physical disease.

  • During the Renaissance, patients were encouraged to compose and study art and play music.
  • When plague approached England, Henry VIII chose his organ player as one of the five men he quarantined with.

Music asks that we laugh, and sing, and dance, and seems to be a real antidote to fear, just as the Renaissance doctors claimed.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Stayin' alive! How music has fought pandemics for 2,700 years

Stayin' alive! How music has fought pandemics for 2,700 years

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/06/stayin-alive-how-music-fought-pandemics-2700-years-coronavirus

theguardian.com

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Key Ideas

Using music

During the plague of Saint Charles in the summer of 1576, religious gatherings were banned in Italy for fear of contagion. But nothing could stand in the people's way.

Following a call to go to church in spirit, they launched a collective act of social and musical defiance, opening windows and doors and started to sing together in a harmonious voice. It was such a sight that Milan appeared as "the heavenly Jerusalem" itself.

Music connects

Music is a very powerful tool during quarantine. People in Italy, Spain, and the wider world are using music to bring their communities together.

When you're making music, you submit your mind and body to its regulation. When you're doing the Macarena with your neighbors, you're contributing to the larger goal of the group and inspire global solidarity.

Other benefits of music

Since the time of ancient Greece, medicine claimed that maintaining a positive mind can help treat physical disease.

  • During the Renaissance, patients were encouraged to compose and study art and play music.
  • When plague approached England, Henry VIII chose his organ player as one of the five men he quarantined with.

Music asks that we laugh, and sing, and dance, and seems to be a real antidote to fear, just as the Renaissance doctors claimed.

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We do know that in 1331 an outbreak erupted in the Yuan Empire and may have hastened the end of Mongol rule over China. Three years later, the disease killed over 90 percent of the Hebei Province's population with deaths totaling over 5 million people.

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From its origin at the eastern end of the Silk Road, the Black Death rode trade routes west stopping at Central Asian caravansaries and Middle Eastern trade centers and subsequently infected people all across Asia.

2 more ideas

How the brain processes music

Music is processed in different ways:

  • one part of our brain decodes pitch and tempo
  • other parts tap into memory and emotion
  • if you are playing an instrument, the body is ...

Music, dementia, and rehabilitation

Some studies show that music can help improve movement in patients who have Parkinson’s disease, or people who have lost mobility or battle with language due to a stroke.

In one study, in particular, Alzheimer’s patients seem to maintain the ability to recognize music.

Music is good for you

Listening to music engages a huge network throughout the brain because music has so many components to it. It keeps your brain fit and healthy.

Music is also very therapeutic. It can lift your mood and help you to relax.