| Healing Instrument of the Month
Focus on the HARP
Excerpts from "Harps" by Genevieve Vaughn, "Harp," Encarta 97 Encyclopedia CD-ROM, 1996
A harp is defined as a musical instrument in which strings, sounded by plucking, run between a neck and a sound box. The strings run perpendicular to the sound box, instead of parallel, as on a guitar.
Types : "Harps are made in three basic shapes: arched harps, in which the neck and body form a bowlike curve; angular harps, in which neck and body form at least a right angle; and frame harps, in which a third piece, the forepillar, is placed opposite the angle between the neck and body, forming a triangle, to brace them against the tension of the strings. The modern orchestral harp is a large frame harp having 46 strings (six and one-half octaves, with 7 strings per octave); the bass strings made of covered wire and the treble strings of gut or nylon.
Early History "Arched harps, the most ancient of all harps, were known in Sumer and Egypt between about 3000 and 2000 BC, and angular harps appeared somewhat later. Angular harps were prominent in medieval Arabic and Persian music and were played as late as the 19th century in Persia. Frame harps, almost exclusively European, appeared by the 9th century and developed in two versions, one used in Ireland and Scotland, and one on the Continent. The Irish harp, like its Scottish counterpart, was a powerful instrument with a broad, deep sound box hewn from one block of wood; a thick, strong neck; and a heavy, curved forepillar."
Why is the harp so powerful as an instrument for healing? There are many theories on this. One theory maintains that because the harp is held close to the heart while it is being played, healing energy that emanates from the heart of the player can more readily enter the body and spirit of the person who is ill. (see www.heartmath.org for interesting ideas about healing through the heart.)
Kathryn Mannyng, on her website www.mannyngharp.com, has this to say:
“Harps have been around since people have been using a bow and arrow. The harp has it's own instrument family, plectrum instruments, which includes harpsichords. The Celtic harp, Irish harp or Clarsach is one of the precursors to the modern concert harp. They share the harp sound, general playing technique, and string setup. There are even different names for the players. Celtic or folk harp players are Harpers. Concert harp players are harpists.
The harp is the only instrument that can be tuned in a mathematically "pure" fashion within itself so that all the harmonics come out when it is in tune. Through the phenomenon of entrainment, you yourself would naturally become in tune with yourself. Harmonics vibrate in proportionate sympathy with each other and their effect would be similar in the body when the sound vibrates the different layers of density of tissue and bone. The range of a harp is also great enough so that when it is played, the harmonic series comes out into our minds and bodies. The Celtic harp is closer to what one would think of as an angels harp. It has no pedals to complicate, interfere and bog down the sound and thoughts of the performer and listeners.
Some of the ancient uses of the Celtic Harp were laughing, crying, sleeping and balladry. All of these are, in my opinion, healing activities. If you cannot laugh, cry or sleep, there is something wrong. You are in a state of "dis-ease." Balladry took the general form of the broadside, or the custom of the traveling musician going from place to place relating the news of the day.
Piano music The piano is a hybrid of a drum (another very ancient instrument) and a harp. Thus, it is as basic and effective as the above mentioned instruments. It also has the added benefit of being fully chromatic, thus hitting all your "chords" so to speak.
A word about intent......Music is healing if it is played with healing intent. Intention is an important distinction when seeking an effect. You might want just to relax, to learn, to be entertained, or mesmerized.
If you are interested in buying a small harp, please go to http://www.healingmusicenterprises.com/hmestore1.html , then click on "Apollo's Axes". I’ll be happy to advise you if you’d like.
At the conclusion of every workshop and presentation that I give, I hand out an evaluation to determine what people liked the best and what ideas they will use first.
This month I have three new sets of evaluations for my readers to enjoy in the Testimonials section of the HME web site at:
| What can I do for YOU this year?
For those in the KY, IN, OH, and TN area, I am available to come to your town or city for civic meetings, after-dinner speeches, workshops and inservices. I can work clinically with patients or educationally with staff. Current dates include late March in the Tampa, Florida area and June 20-24 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I will be a plenary speaker at an International Wellness Conference at Lake Louise.
I offer regular week-end classes at Healing Music Enterprises here in Louisville on Music with Pregnancy, Music with Surgery, and Music with Alzheimer’s Patients. To get in one of these classes, call 502-895-7688. The cost is $50.00 for a two-hour class of 6-8 people.
There are many sections and pages on my site www.HealingMusicEnterprises.com. To find what you want, put your cursor in the upper left-hand corner until the slide-out menu appears. Or go directly to the Site map page, for a full page directory at http://www.healingmusicenterprises.com/sitemap.html From there you can find the archived e-zines, articles and interviews with me, media clips from when I was on “The TODAY Show,” “Feelin’Great,” and “Sightings,” and much much more. I now have a Shoppe that sells my book, tapes, and CD, plus books and CD’s from other authors such as my mentor Don Campbell.
As always, I invite you to continue sending in your questions about health and healing using music. Best wishes to you for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
Dr. Cash is available as a keynote speaker, workshop and seminar leader, course educator, and individual "music medicine consultations" with people, as well as other group and individual instruction in using music for healing and promoting health and wellbeing. Go to http://www.healingmusicenterprises.com/services.html for more information.
Attention: Louisvillle Area Health Professionals
Dr. Cash offers classes on a regular basis on:
- How to create music tapes for surgery
- Using music with pregnancy, childbirth and newborns
- Understanding how music affects the Mind-Body-Spirit & applying this to practice
- Toning, Chanting, and Drumming for Health
- Using Music with Alzheimer's Patients
2 -3 hour long classes are offered on demand for four people or more. Class can be booked for Fri am, Sat pm,
& Sun eves. Also private sessions.
Call 502-895-7688 to register or Send an Email .
Dr. Cash offers helpful products to guide you reap the benefits of music for healing.
Each product is expertly created to offer you sound tools for self directed therapeutic music sessions. All purchases are secure and guaranteed.
1. "Notes for Tuning Your Life with Music"
(available as soft cover book or ebook, with CD or Mp3 music supplement)
- BOOK & CD-
(Book - $14.95; CD - $14.95 or Book/CD Combo - $24.95 & S/H)
- EBOOK & Mp3s (Ebook - $8.95; Mp3s - $5/set)
Mp3 Sets include:
- Alzheimer's & Dementia Collection
- Lullaby Collection
- Chant Collection
2. AUDIOTAPES - $10 & S/H -
Tape titles include:
- The Healing Power of Music
- Toning & Chanting with Addictions
- Why Mozart? The Research on Mozart and Learning
- The Use of Music with Alzheimers and other Dementias
- Music for Surgery ($19.95 for two tape set)
3. Healing Music Shoppe Do you have some birthday presents, wedding gifts, or shower gifts to buy? Why not go to my new Healing Music Enterprises Store and buy a book, CD, or even a musical instrument for that special someone? You can get a troubadour harp or a didgeridoo; a djembe, a bongo, or a bagpipe! Now that's a surprise isn't it? Feel free to write me personally for advice on the best instrument for you or your child. We also offer sheet music, music books, musician career services, musical recordings and more.
4. Music Book and CD Library - the place to browse and shop online for Amazon music books, CDs, VHS and DVDs. Hand picked to ensure that content reflects music for healing and well being.
Please feel free to forward this issue to
friends and associates. Anyone can subscribe for free (see below)
Alice H. Cash, Ph.D., LCSW
Healing Music Enterprises
(502) 895-7688 (502) 419-1698 (mobile)
(502) 896-7277 (fax)