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What are the Steps of Carnatic Music Therapy?

14th Jun, 2022

Indian classical music, i.e., Hindustani and Carnatic Music Vocal sessions with immediate pleasing effect, can be an antidote to sadness. It is a form of art that may be accessed anytime and from any location. Based on the available scientific literature, this article provides an overview of music therapy as practiced in ancient India, its impact on emotion and mind, and its clinical uses in the present period.

Can Classical Music Heal?

Indian Classical Carnatic Music Vocal Therapy: Historical Background

Carnatic vocal music therapy, according to ancient Hindus, might alleviate the anguish produced by man's irrational reasoning. The science of music (Gandharva tattva) has been documented in India since the fourth century B.C.

One of the oldest books, "Raga Chikitsa," elaborates on the medicinal use of musical melodies. Swami Haridas, a 16th-century classical musician, was one of many people who employed music to alleviate ailments back in the day.

The effects of music on emotions are described in the 17th-century text "Sangita Sudha," written by Nayaka King Raghunatha Nayak and his minister Govinda Dikshitar. Ancient works collected by King Sahaji (1684–1711) and preserved in the Thanjavur Saraswathi Mahal Library as palm leaf manuscripts serve as a source of inspiration.

Emotion And Music

The basic premise of cognitive behavior therapy is that cognitions influence emotion, influencing an individual's behavior. Music is the language of emotion, and no other art form elicits such strong feelings as music. Rasanubhava, a musical experience, has a psychological basis. One of the foundational elements of Indian aesthetics is the concept of "rasa" (essence).

Rati (love), Hasa (laughing), Soka (pathos), Krodha (anger), Utsaha (enthusiasm), Bhayam (fear), Jugupsa (disgust), and Vismaya (wonder) are permanent aesthetic moods, and their corresponding Rasas are Sringara, Hasya, Karuna, Raudra, Vira, Bhayanaka. These eight "Rasas" are also known as the "eight basic emotions" linked to seven basic musical notes.

The father of modern raga paddhati, Sage Matanga, built on the already existent raga alapana, also known as raga Vistara, which means raga exposition. This extemporization is highly intuitive and has a pleasant effect on emotional flow. He was also the first to coin the term "Gamaka," which refers to any note manipulation used to create a musical impression. Raga Bhava is an emotional impression created by these subtle vibrations that decorate the musical note.

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In their respective books Sangita Makaranda and Sangita Ratnakara, Narada and Sarangdeva have documented the many forms of gamakas. Gamakas can be utilized to comfort grieving hearts and add to the aesthetic beauty of music.

Gamakas were utilized in excess by "oppari" sung in the case of a person's death in ancient Tamil Nadu to relieve the restrained emotions of the deceased's survivors. Catharsis is the process of releasing bad feelings through music. Religious tunes, according to Aristotle, can produce catharsis-like results in some people.

The Connection Between Music And The Mind

The subtle nonphysical and unmanifested aspects of the body, mind, and awareness are given equal weight to the coarse physical body. Expressive music exercises strengthen coping abilities and promote a good self-image. Singing is a one-of-a-kind workout in which concentration, meditation, and breathing exercises occur instinctively and at the same time. Music generates confidence, just as there is dream music for relaxation and movement music for getting out of sadness.

The universal phenomenon of babies falling asleep to lovely lullabies is proof of the mind-altering effects of music. And it is the gradual relaxing impact, not the words, that puts them to sleep; newborns can not understand lyrics.

Ragas With Specific Mental Effects

Regular exposure to a given raga under specified situations has been shown to have specific effects. At the same time, Nilambari Ragam from Carnatic music vocals might help individuals fall asleep. The ragas Bhupala and Malayamarutam, when performed before dawn, serve as a pleasant invitation to get up. Bilahari, a joy-inducing raga, can aid with melancholy, whereas Sama raga can help with worry.

The Impact of Music on Health

Music has a relaxing influence on the listener's mind and healing properties in a variety of psychiatric conditions. It has been used to treat depression as a stand-alone therapy and in conjunction with guided imagery.

Music can alter one's mood. Music's calming and organizing characteristics are beneficial to mentally disabled people. It also provides opportunities for self-expression through creativity. Music has numerous health benefits for people of all ages in various situations. It can bring comfort, alleviate anxiety and sadness, and enhance pain tolerance. In palliative care, imaging, touch therapy, and music therapy have been used.

Music's most intriguing part is that it serves to promote general well-being and quality of life and its therapeutic advantages. The raga Madhyamavati, for example, might induce tranquility in the listener's mind. So, allow your child to learn Carnatic singing to experience the benefits.


If your child takes an interest in Carnatic vocals, do not wait any longer. Enroll them in the best academy so that they can learn Carnatic singing from expert music teachers. Get in touch with the best academies today if you have any questions in mind or if you need any assistance while enrolling your kid.

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