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Music & Health Music as Stress

JOURNALIST: What were the doctors’ reactions to these thoughts?

PETER HÜBNER: This idea was brought to me by leading doctors during an international conference. And so with this thought, first introduced to our cultural area by Pythagoras, I am fighting battles with this occupational group that have already been won. For a doctor, it goes without saying that it is in his patients’ interest to strengthen the immune system and activate a natural order in the biological function.

The composer of modern times is not a doctor, and he need not necessarily share the doctor’s thoughts – neither do the manufacturers and/or distributors of alcoholic drinks or cigarettes or the producer of other drugs.
After all, to me personally, it seemed important to act on my conscience, as people’s health is becoming weaker and weaker. And because I assumed that I would reach more and more people with my musical creations – I saw my responsibility grow.

The avant-garde reaches only very few people with its disharmonious music. And this will stay the same, because a human being, as chrono-medicine has shown, is harmonically structured from a holistic point of view, and therefore quite spontaneously rejects this music as foreign to his nature – full stop.

This is a medical problem, and it cannot be reconciled by musical training, whatever that may look like.
In this matter, the avant-garde is fundamentally mistaken about nature’s reality.

This, however, should not lessen their artistic performance. As a result of the stated medical facts, they only have to make do with an audience that is on the whole healthy, and voluntarily willing and able to accept stress and strain in its leisure time, in addition to all the daily pressures.
Here, the same applies as with alcohol, nicotine or drugs: if the organism is weakened, a stronger dose would be ill-advised.

A further problem, though, is in how far it is possible to commit people to exposing themselves to the stress of disharmonious music, when their immune system and therefore their health is weakened – this e.g. applies to the group of professional musicians who, without considering their state of health, are committed to joining in and therefore exposing their organism to musical stress.

JOURNALIST: What can a professional musician do about that?

PETER HÜBNER: The time is surely not far away, when the first ill musicians will successfully claim for compensation against their employers. I was invited to an international con­fer­ence as a speaker, where the main theme was the ex­tremely alarm­ing state of health of the prac­tis­ing art­ists. It was a medi­cal con­gress for spe­cial­ists – “Medi­cine for the Per­form­ing Arts”–, and the oc­cu­pa­tional group re­ported to be most prone to ill­nesses in to­day’s so­ci­ety was the group of mu­si­cians – even be­fore jet fighter pilots and air traf­fic con­trollers. We should all be very con­cerned about this.

JOURNALIST: That surprises me, because most professional musicians don’t or hardly play any dissonant music at all. Most of them essentially play normal, harmonious classical music.

PETER HÜBNER: Nature’s laws of harmony, as we find them in the microcosm of music, apply to spatial and time structures in the same way. As far as spatial structures are concerned, dis­har­mo­ni­ous music of the avant-garde contradicts nature’s laws of harmony.

But relating to the time structures, the rhythmical fixation usual in the modern interpretation practice of classical pieces – that is the so-called fixed rhythm – contradicts nature’s laws of har­mony. And it looks as if this kind of tem­po­ral dis­re­gard of na­ture’s laws of har­mony is not less harm­ful to health than its spa­tial dis­re­gard.

The previous investigations, and above all the results of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions in the field of chro­no­medi­cine, show that es­pe­cially the rhyth­mi­cal vio­la­tion against the laws of har­mony causes harm to peo­ple’s health.

On the basis of these scientific findings, I see particularly in the interpretation of classical pieces by conductors and musicians, battered by their jet set life, damage caused to one’s health which is in no way inferior to that of music avant-garde.

In addition, the risk of tonal disharmonious music is being reduced by the listener’s spontaneous rejection, as he recognises the structure of this spatially disharmonious music as foreign to his nature, and in doing so rejects it and then stays away from the performances.

Recent medical findings have revealed that our ear is harmonically structured even right into the physical area, and as a result of this biological constitution alone, rejects dis­har­mo­ni­ous music.

But the spontaneous sensitive perception of that risk in the temporal field of music – to which rhythmical fixed music also belongs as a special case - is unfortunately not so easy any more for the organism of our time which is flooded from all sides by the acoustic noises of rhythmically fixed machines.

Therefore, in order to avert disaster, we need scientific veri­fi­ca­tion and intellectual enlightenment.

It is the same as with smoking: the first pull is spontaneously categorised as unpleasant. But after a period of passive smoking, and a few light pulls, the personal stimulus threshold and linked spontaneous rejection is reduced. And then subjectively the smoker finally regards his action as pleasant and perfectly harm­less.

In our times, it is the same with rhythmically fixed, and therefore rhythmically disharmonious music.

The danger of rhythmical fixation for a person’s health is no longer recognised by the individual and therefore un­der­es­ti­mated. As an in­fant he couldn’t do any­thing about it, and now he has got used to it. And it is no co­in­ci­dence that, with the gen­eral weak­en­ing of the im­mune sys­tem, the mu­si­cal ex­er­tion of in­flu­ence also has its ef­fect.

Rock musicians and their consumers, pop musicians and their con­sumers, mu­si­cians of the so-called folk-mu­sic and their con­sumers, and the mu­si­cians of the clas­si­cal or­ches­tras and their con­sumers, in­creas­ingly turn to drugs (from co­caine to de­signer drugs), to al­co­hol (from beer to vodka), and to nico­tine, be­cause, as a re­sult of the rhyth­mi­cal and tonal dis­or­ders in their or­gan­ism, they are above av­er­age sus­cep­ti­ble to these drugs. In all this, dis­so­nant mu­sic doesn’t come off so badly.

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