Carnatic Music Ragas and Their Role in Music Therapy

Raga, as the soul and base, is a distinctive musical entity, in the music system, with unique structure on its construction of srutis (musical sounds) and application. One of the essential components of the music system is the ‘tala’ that defines the rhythm of a song. There are seven basic swaras (notes) Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da and Ni in the carnatic music system that are analogous to the C, D, E, F, G, A and B of the western system. The carnatic music further builds on conscious use of microtones, gamakams (oscillation) and rendering styles. It has basic 72 ragas known as melakarta ragas, and a plethora of ragas have been developed from them with permutations and combinations of the basic swaras. Among them, some ragas derived from a same melakarta raga are distinctly different from each other and could evoke a profound difference in the raga bhava (emotion) during rendering. Although these could bear similar arohana and avarohana swaras, their quintessential differences in the gamakas usage and srutis present therein offer varied melodic feelings; variations in the intonation and stress given to certain swara phrases are the root causes. This article enlightens a group of such allied ragas (AR) from the perspectives of their schema and raga alapana (improvisation), ranjaka prayogas (signature phrases), differences in rendering tempo, gamakas and delicate srutis along with the range of sancharas (musical phrases). The intricate differences on the sruti frequencies and use of AR in composing kritis (musical compositions) toward emotive accomplishments such as mood of valor, kindness, love, humor, anger, mercy to name few, have also been explored. A brief review on the existing scientific research on the music therapy on some of the Carnatic ragas is presented. Studying and comprehending the AR, indeed, enable the music aspirants to gain a thorough knowledge on the subtle nuances among the ragas. Such knowledge helps leave a long-lasting melodic impression on the listeners and enable further research on the music therapy.

Advanced Palliative Aquatics Care Multi-Device AuBento for Symptom and Pain Management by Sensorial Integration and Electromagnetic Fields: A Preliminary Design Study

Background: Although palliative care policies and services have been developed, research in this area continues to lag. An integrated model of palliative care is suggested, which includes complementary and alternative services aimed at improving the well-being of patients and their families. The palliative aquatics care multi-device (AuBento) uses several electromagnetic techniques to decrease pain and promote well-being through relaxation and interaction among patients, specialists, and family members. Aim: The scope of this paper is to present a preliminary design study of a device capable of exploring the various existing theories on the biomedical application of magnetic fields. This will be achieved by standardizing clinical data collection with sensory integration, and adding new therapeutic options to develop an advanced palliative aquatics care, innovating in symptom and pain management. Methods: The research methodology was based on the Work Package Methodology for the development of projects, separating the activities into seven different Work Packages. The theoretical basis was carried out through an integrative literature review according to the specific objectives of each Work Package and provided a broad analysis, which, together with the multiplicity of proposals and the interdisciplinarity of the research team involved, generated consistent and understandable complex concepts in the biomedical application of magnetic fields for palliative care. Results: Aubento ambience was idealized with restricted electromagnetic exposure (avoiding data collection bias) and sensory integration (allowing relaxation associated with hydrotherapy, music therapy, and chromotherapy or like floating tank). This device has a multipurpose configuration enabling classic or exploratory options on the use of the biomedical application of magnetic fields at the researcher's discretion. Conclusions: Several patients in diverse therapeutic contexts may benefit from the use of magnetic fields or fluids, thus validating the stimuli to clinical research in this area. A device in controlled and multipurpose environments may contribute to standardizing research and exploring new theories. Future research may demonstrate the possible benefits of the aquatics care multi-device AuBento to improve the well-being and symptom control in palliative care patients and their families.

The Use of Music Therapy to Improve Non-Verbal Communication Skills for Children with Autism

The number of school-aged children with autism in Indonesia has been increasing each year. Autism is a developmental disorder which can be diagnosed in childhood. One of the symptoms is the lack of communication skills. Music therapy is known as an effective treatment for children with autism. Music elements and structures create a good space for children with autism to express their feelings and communicate their thoughts. School-aged children are expected to be able to communicate non-verbally very well, but children with autism experience the difficulties of communicating non-verbally. The aim of this research is to analyze the significance of music therapy treatment to improve non-verbal communication tools for children with autism. This research informs teachers and parents on how music can be used as a media to communicate with children with autism. The qualitative method is used to analyze this research, while the result is described with the microanalysis technique. The result is measured specifically from the whole experiment, hours of every week, minutes of every session, and second of every moment. The samples taken are four school-aged children with autism in the age range of six to 11 years old. This research is conducted within four months started with observation, interview, literature research, and direct experiment. The result demonstrates that music therapy could be effectively used as a non-verbal communication tool for children with autism, such as changes of body gesture, eye contact, and facial expression.

Using Music in the Classroom to Help Syrian Refugees Deal with Post-War Trauma

Millions of Syrian families have been displaced since the beginning of the Syrian war, and the negative effects of post-war trauma have shown detrimental effects on the mental health of refugee children. While educational strategies have focused on vocational training and academic achievement, little has been done to include music in the school curriculum to help these children improve their mental health. The literature of music education and psychology, on the other hand, shows the positive effects of music on traumatized children, especially when it comes to dealing with stress. This paper presents a brief literature review of trauma, music therapy, and music in the classroom, after having introduced the Syrian war and refugee situation. Furthermore, the paper highlights the benefits of using music with traumatized children from the literature and offers strategies for teachers (such as singing, playing an instrument, songwriting, and others) to include music in their classrooms to help Syrian refugee children deal with post-war trauma.