Monday, May 6, 2013

Music and Dementia

I often write complaining about how scientists often seem to misunderstand music even as they do research into it. So today I am delighted to report on how arts therapy has proved immensely helpful to patients with dementia. Here is the report on Norman Lebrecht's blog.

Here are a few of the results:
  •  94% of  people with dementia were energised, unstressed, happy and alert for at least 24 hours after an arts session
  • The energising effect lasted for up to a week in 60% of participants with dementia
  •  Visual arts generated the greatest immediate sense of achievement
  • Music and dance (both of which have a physical component) demonstrated a significantly longer energising effect than other art forms
  • 84% of people with dementia recognised that they had learned new skills.
It would be interesting to see some of the details of the therapy. The study isn't published yet, but perhaps when it is there might be more information.

In the meantime, it remains only to make the necessary observation that some kinds of music might actually lead to dementia! Some examples? Well, sure. Here is a compilation of some "grindcore" bands.

Some of the artists featured include:

1.Dead Infection
2.General Surgery
3.Napalm Death
5.Ahumado Granujo

I think that prolonged exposure to this sort of thing might well lead to dementia--certainly for me. Reminds me slightly of one person's recommendation to friends with a newborn baby that they play a lot of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. I talked about that here.

Let's end with something to clear the palate. Here is a Chaconne for solo viola da gamba by Marin Marais:


Nathan Shirley said...

Hey, at least they broke away from C major and some of them use interesting rhythms. That's more than can be said about most pop music.

Not that I would advocate playing Napalm Death to newborns and dementia patients or anything...

Bryan Townsend said...

Heh, heh, heh!

About the kindest thing I could say about grindcore is that the songs are mercifully brief...