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"Some sounds work just as well as a couple of cups of coffee," says Alfred Tomatis, an outstanding French expert in the field of hearing. This means that we can…

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Chinese musical instrument
For some reason, Chinese music, even popular, eludes the European listener. People are frightened by strange symbols instead of the usual Latin or Cyrillic, a strange incomprehensible language and a…

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Chinese musical instrument
For some reason, Chinese music, even popular, eludes the European listener. People are frightened by strange symbols instead of the usual Latin or Cyrillic, a strange incomprehensible language and a…

Continue reading →

Music therapy (part 2)

I owe my art to the fact that I did not commit suicide.

Oh, people, if you ever read this, you will remember that you have been unjust to me; let the unfortunate be comforted by seeing a fellow-sufferer who, in spite of all the opposition of nature, has done everything in his power to become a worthy artist and man.

Goodbye and don’t forget me at all. Be happy.

Ludwig Beethoven. Heiligenstadt, 1801.”

That tune eagerly listened to my patient. Music brought comfort to suffering. By creating this music, Beethoven helped himself and other people. The girl also constantly wanted to listen to Bach’s organ prelude. It is sad gloomy music, drill sound space in Tarkovsky’s film the Mirror. Sound clots immersed in the primordial life, but sternly true melody is comforting.

I played lighter music as well, but it kept coming back to the deep dark melodies of suffering. We were swinging the pendulum of musical perception. Months passed, she came back to listen to music. And gradually changed. The black color in the sample lusher sailed to a lower place where it should be. The choice of a gloomy picture was replaced by the image of some lovely berries in a still life.

And she herself ceased to be a petrified statue of anxiety, and became a lively cheerful girl who had her own worries, and she did not need a music therapist and music therapy. She left like a swallow in a fairy tale by Andersen – frozen, she was warmed up, and then she flew away because she had business.

This choice of black, tragic painting and music became the basis for understanding the psychological level. Then, the music chosen by this patient, helped many people, overshadowed by the emotional state.

The man and the melody


I want to tell the story of one of those melodies that were selected by hundreds of our listeners, and which helped many to get out of a painful state.

A woman comes to my hall – she is distinguished by noble kindness, grace. She reaches for the music, the colors of the lusher puts harmoniously, but the selected paintings are of concern. For some reason, she is particularly sensitive to tragic music and reaches for it. After a few days it is a tragedy – perhaps the shadow of approaching disaster and forced her to prefer the tense music.

In these difficult days music became her salvation – she listened to great concerts and the music of 2 Rachmaninoff concerts became the closest to her.

She created amazing drawings of images seen under the influence of music – icicles turned into flowers, rocks were illuminated by the moon, colored prisms and clouds embodied the music of Grieg.

The pre-storm sky embodied Rachmaninoff’s music. She has created an exquisite prose, reminiscent of Andrei Bely, thrilling as the best poetry of the silver age.

The day came when the music saved her – her life seemed broken, the tragedy was inescapable – she lived near the embankment of the canal and came to the dark water, but perhaps Rachmaninoff’s melody inspired hope and did not allow trouble to happen. In the future, the music continued to help her and gave strength to cope with a serious problem.

Page of history

It is time to remember the history of the creation of the brilliant 2 Rachmaninoff concert.

This melody has no analogies – we are talking about the slow part of Rachmaninoff’s second Concerto. The incredible power of the first part of the concert is replaced by a theme that fills the sound space like steam over the evening river

Chekhov’s pages, Levitan’s paintings are close to the mood of this melody.

You can remember the striking picture of Levitan ” Over eternal rest “. The beholder is in altitude, flying as Margarita Bulgakov over the water and island on the river, in outline scary like a cloud, rushing over him.

The music of the second Concerto was written after Rachmaninoff’s rescue from the grip of depression caused by the death of Tchaikovsky , his friend and mentor, who admired Aleko and wanted to fulfill the fantasy of Utes. The sudden death of Tchaikovsky, the failure of the performance of the “First Symphony” proved to be a terrible blow for Rachmaninoff.

“Something inside me broke. All my faith in myself is gone. The agonizing hours of doubt led me to conclude that I should give up writing. I was paralyzed by apathy,” the composer wrote.

He rarely got up from the sofa and any human communication preferred the company of a faithful dog Levko. This situation lasted a total of two years.

His friends appealed even to Leo Tolstoy to help young Rachmaninoff words of encouragement. Considerable difficulties were worth persuading Rachmaninoff, for whom the name of Tolstoy has long been sacred, to visit the “great hermit.” The composer, of course, had no idea about the contract, the purpose of which was to make him happy again. But the visit was unsuccessful.

Tolstoy’s instructions, his appeal to artistic and human consciousness did not affect Rachmaninoff’s unshakable indifference to everything in the world.

At that time, Dr. Dahl’s method of treatment caused lively discussions. He has achieved wonderful results by means of suggestion and auto-suggestion. Friends persuaded Rachmaninoff to consult about his condition with Dahl.

The year 1900 came. From January to April Rachmaninoff paid daily visits to the doctor. Here’s what he says:

“My relatives told Dr. Dahl that he had to get me out of apathy in any way and get me to start writing again. Dahl asked me what they wanted me to write, and I got the answer: a piano Concerto. The one I promised the London public and put off in despair. As a result, lying half asleep in Dr. Dahl’s chair, I heard the repeated hypnotic formula day after day: “You will start writing a concert. You will work with complete ease. The concert will be great.” It’s always the same without pauses. And while it may seem incredible, the treatment has really helped me. At the beginning of summer I started writing again. I had gained faith in myself and could now afford to think about fulfilling my cherished dream of devoting two years to writing.

I felt that Dr. Dahl’s treatment had strengthened my nervous system. Out of gratitude, I dedicated my Second concert to him. Since the work was a great success in Moscow, everyone thought and wondered what relation Dr. Dahl might have to it. The truth, however, was known only to Dahl, Satine, and me.”

We offered to listen to the slow part of Rachmaninoff’s concert to a group of psychologists and asked them to draw their images. Most of the drawings included the image of close water, river, water panorama, lake, moon above the water.

This melody was listened to by children, then we suggested them to put the colors connected, on their perception, with this music. Wise children took the tricolor – gray, brown and purple, their emotions – detachment, light sadness memories and fantastic dream in their unique combination – woven this amazing music, the treasure of Russian culture.

By creating music that brought him spiritual liberation, Rachmaninoff helped himself and many people.

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