Rafed English

Influence of Music

Adopted from the Book : "Music and its Effects" by : "A. H. Sheriff"

Influence of Music

Often people are heard to say: "But music has so much influence upon our feelings; so why such a thing should be forbidden?" But it is precisely because of its great influence upon heart and mind that it is forbidden. There would have been no need to ban it if it were with out any effect. The thing which is to be decided is whether its influence is good or bad. And it has been shown in the previous pages that music and dance have harmful effects physiologically, spiritually and ethically upon human beings.

Music is like intoxicants in that it makes one forget one's surroundings; and one does not know what is happening to him or her. The following episode is a good example of the effect of music:

Frank King is reported in 'Reader's Digest (Vol. E No. 481; May 1962) as saying:

"I returned home one evening and noticed a large red mark that looked like a burn on my wife's right cheek. When I asked her what had happened she sheepishly told me the story. She set up the iron-board in the living room so that she could watch a favourite television programme while doing the ironing the telephone table was also near at hand. As she was intently watching TV, the phone rang, and she reached out automatically and answered the iron."

Another interesting story was published in the Tanganyika Standard (Dar-es-Salaam) some 23 years ago. A pregnant woman attended a musical programme in a local cinema. She became so much engrossed in it that she gave birth to a baby on the spot without realizing what was happening to her. 'Was it a cinema hall or maternity home?', asked the paper.

Realizing the importance of this engrossing quality of music, the scientists are trying to use it as an aid in surgery. Reader's Digest (Vol. 80, No. 477; January, 1962) writes:

"Audio-analgesia, or painkilling by sound, is one of modern science's newest discoveries. The combination of music and other sounds has alleviated pain in dentistry, surgery and childbirth. Nobody can predict how widely the technique will be used, but those who have^ experienced it entertained high hopes —like the new mother who wheeled from the delivery room exclaiming, What a wonderful experience! I'll always remember South pacific.

Palcetry Galiard, while on the operation table, asked for one of his own musical tapes to be played in the room. The effect was a spate of grief which made as present cry; and the operation was performed without any anesthetic.

All this goes a long way to prove that the music has the same effect on nerves and mind as the anesthesia. Nobody, in his right mind, would suggest that chloroform should be daily used by the general public, because it is such a good thing in the operation theatre. If music is a good anaesthetic, let it be used in surgery and deliveries of children. But can that use ever justify its common use in every home at all times and in all circumstances?

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