Pavarotti is Healthy (To Listen To)


For reasons known only to ourselves, we interrupt Wednesday’s series, to bring you this instead…

Who was Robert Burton? An English vicar of the seventeenth century, that’s who. And one of the earliest scholars to deal with he subject of depression.

In my workshops in Emotional Intelligence, I regularly quote from his famous work The Anatomy of Melancholy, when dealing with emotional management. Besides that excellent power it hath to expel many other diseases, it is a sovereign remedy against despair and melancholy, and will drive away the devil himselfMusic can make a melancholy man merry, and him that was merry much merrier than before, a lover more enamoured, a religious man more devout.”

I’ve blogged before about the power of music to boost the learning experience, both with children in the classroom and adults in extreme circumstances. Now it seems that music has great healing powers for the body too.

A recent study has shown that listen to the right kind of music can slow the heart and lower blood pressure. It seems that opera ‘is music for the heart’. This comes hot on the heels of claims that music therapy ‘restors vision’ and can even help cancer patients.

I’m not a musician myself, and prefer the written word to the sung voice or played instrument. But I’ve recently forced myself to go down to the living room, switch on some music, lie back and chill. Seriously, it works wonders. It’s a mini-break. As one wit – Oliver Wendell Holmes – put it:

“Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.”

Image credit: Powerhouse Museum.