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Balance Your Mind


Ancient Musical Modes

by Chris Burt

Pythagoras and his School were aware of the effect that different musical modes could have on human consciousness, or, more accurately, on the Four Temperaments.

                        Vouchers for

   Modal Musical Therapy

Why not buy someone you care about a Modal Music Therapy Voucher for Christmas! The will learn the traditional uses of the modes, and how to play them to bring peace of mind and relaxation. They can either use the piano, or bring an instrument of their own choice. (by prior arrangement).

                              Contact us for rates etc.

For more information, click HERE.

The words Phlegmatic, Choleric, Sanguine and Melancholic are, to this day, all accepted terms in common usage, describing human personality traits.  They can all be affected - (increased or decreased) by the use of appropriate music.

Today, science is becoming aware of the fact that music can have an effect on our moods, minds and even our bodies!  We know, for instance, that music can relax us, or inspire us, or even help us to study more effectively.  It can even discourage disruptive behaviour in shopping malls or improve the milk yield of cows!

But Pythagoras and his followers went into the topic in much more depth than we do today.  They had a complete system of therapeutic musical lore, involving the use of musical modes (predecessors to the modern major and minor scales).

We are all familiar with these modes: They don't sound strange or foreign to our ears: Early folk music is usually written in one or other of the modes; Songs like Greensleeves and many old Christmas Carols, for instance.  Rock music is often modal, and the Blues Scale is closely related to ancient modes.

Ancient Greek MusicTherapy used eight modes to balance the Four Temperaments of human personality.  There are two modes for each Temperament: one to increase it and another to decrease it.

So, if we are feeling depressed or need to be brought out of ourselves, we can listen to one particular mode.

If we need to focus more inwardly, (say for meditation or study), we can listen to its opposite.

If we need to be more easy-going and forgiving, there is yet another mode we can use, or ...

  ... if we feel we've been a bit of a mug recently and really need to assert ourselves a little, then the opposite mode will help us!

"Balance Your Mind With Ancient Musical Modes"

is available on YouTube, together with an accompanying virtual handbook (also viewable on YouTube) that gives you an understanding of how the modes work and which ones you need to listen to in different circumstances.

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