India’s Folk Music is diverse because of India’s vast cultural diversity. It has many forms like bhangra, lavani, baul. Bhatiali, dandiya, bihugeet etc. Though it started with devotional songs but later it covered each and every part of contemporary human life psychology, philosophy, anatomy, socio economic condition, love, day to day living and in many of them you will find deep insight into life. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways as music transmitted by mouth and as music of lower classes. Folk music of any country commemorates historical and personal events and so individuals get connected to it very easily. African Rumba, samba and salsa and Indian folk are all diverse in their origin but functionally they are almost the same. Music penetrates into every form of communication and is increasingly absorbed in global multimedia. Folk music helps to interact and share messages between identities fully represented within themselves. The aim of the present study is to assess the effect of folk music in comparison to other genre of music.40 emotionally unstable subjects were applied folk music and 20 subjects as control were compared using other genre of music. Personal data sheet were used for data collection. Interviews demonstrated improvement in different symptoms. The significance of the difference between Emotionally Unstable group and the controls, is calculated using‘t’ test. The results show that the individuals have significantly higher score. These preliminary findings indicate that folk music has an all-round effect.

Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways as music transmitted by mouth and as music of lower classes. Folk music helps to interact and share messages between identities fully represented within themselves.

Effect of Active and Passive Music Therapy on Mental Health

1. What is Therapy? (From a Psychological perspective).

This paper examines the role and nature of music therapy. By therapy we mean interpersonal treatment for problems in living. Therapy provides ways to express feelings, understand patterns of thinking, gain perspective on past events and current relationships, set goals, and clarify dreams for the future. Therapy from the perspective of Psychology is known as Psychotherapy. Through Psychotherapy an individual can increase the sense of his or her wellbeing and it is designed to improve the mental health of a client. Mental health is an outcome of balanced and organized development of one’s personality. Balanced emotional development is related with cognitive and sensory motor development, and for that matter, we presuppose that good mental health needs good physical health.

2. Different types of Therapy, with a focus on Psychoanalytic Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

There are different types of psychotherapy and the most prominent are Psychoanalysis, Gestalt Therapy, Group Psychotherapy, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Expressive Therapy etc. I have concentrated primarily on Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, because in my view these two therapeutic methods helped me to develop the basis of my research on music and dance therapy. One should add in this context that Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud. His therapy is based on exploring the dynamics of mind resulting from the interactions of three aspects of mind, one being pleasure seeking id, the other one rational, that is, ego and the moral aspect, that is, super ego. The interactions between these three aspects of mind, result in conflicting situation and mind itself attempting to resolve these conflicts through various kinds of ego defense mechanisms. The main objective of Psychoanalytic therapy is to purge out the repressed desires and associated pent up emotions through the process of abreaction and catharsis, so that the client with the assistance of the analyst can restore his/her insight and perceive the reality in an objective way. Similarly, Music therapy also facilitates the process of catharsis and help the client to restore harmony in life.

Psychoanalysis to unearth the complex workings of the unconscious mind, takes the help of two methods, that is, interpretation of dream and Free Association. According to Freud the root of our mental conflict and other repressed unconscious desires are our childhood experiences. So, Psychoanalysis deals with defense mechanism used by an over burdened ego, fixations and other issues by probing deeply into clients' youth.

Cognitive Behavior therapy was developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, Cognitive Therapy (CT), or Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), is a form of psychotherapy in which the therapist and the client work together as a team to identify and solve problems. Therapists use the Cognitive Model to help clients overcome their difficulties by changing their thinking, behavior, and emotional responses. Both these methods exercise a pronounced impact on mental health. Mental health refers to the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversities.

3. A Discussion on Music, Dance and Rhythm.

According to Bharata’s Natyashastra (which is the text for Dramaturgy and Performing Arts) Sangeet or Music refers to Nritya (dance), Geet (Songs) and Badya (Instrument). Curt Sachs in World History of Dance has defined Dance as – "Dance is the mother of all arts. Music and poetry exist in time; Painting and architecture in space. But dance lives at once in time and space. The creator and the thing created, the artiste and the work are still one and the same thing. Rhythmic patterns of movement, the plastic sense of space, the vivid representation of a world seen and imagined- these things man creates in his own body in the dance before he uses substance and stone and word to give expression to his inner experience".

Geet (Vocal Music) is an art form where a pattern of words is set to tune or melody and performed through singing. According to Prof. Sir George A. Macfarren- "Music, then, is that one of the fine arts which appropriates the phenomena of sound to the purpose of poetry, and has a province of its own in many respects analogous to but yet wholly distinct from that of each and other arts."

Badya (Instrumental Music) refers to music played in instruments. It may be played independently or along with songs or dance. Badya is an important aspect of Music or Sangeet.

Rhythm is undoubtedly the first element of music, though melody or raga is recognized as the vital part of music. The concept of rhythm evolved perhaps from the clapping of hands and stamping of feet, which were common in primitive music. The Sanskrit word tala seems to be derived from tala or karatala or the beating of palms. The large family of drums, cymbals and bells is the logical development of the concept of keeping of rhythm by clapping of hands or stamping of feet, or striking of wooden or bamboo sticks. Different units of duration or time between the clapping or stamping gave rise to the concept of tempo or laya which was divided into three- slow, medium and rapid (Vilambit, Madhya and Druta). In truth, the principles of rhythm and tempo are the controlling as well as the balancing factor of music of all nations in the world.

4. Dance Therapy and Physiological Changes.

During Dance Therapy session the change in pulse rate, heart beat along with the flow of blood generally helps a client to overcome certain uneasiness in body caused by somatisation. Somatisation as we know is conversion of mental anxiety or other mental ailments into physical symptoms.

5. Genres of Music which help in Therapy.

In my opinion, the genres of music which are most applicable in Music Therapy are Indian and Western Classical music along with some semi-classical music and especially Rabindrasangeet (Tagore Songs). The three aspects of music are its tune, rhythm and the lyrics. The tune helps in relaxing and realizing one’s own self and to slowly unbound oneself from the ailments of mind and body, the rhythm helps in body movements which rejuvenates the mind and lyrics help in creating images in the mind and also to unfold repressed wishes and desires. Thus it is important that the music should be chosen according to the mental state of the client. The efficacy of Music Therapy depends on appropriate choice and application of music and rhythm.

6. Natyashastra (Dramaturgy), Nav Rasa (Nine moods), Mudra (Hand gestures) and their application in Music Therapy.

In Natyashastra, the aesthetic theory of Indian Music that is Sangeet is ‘Ananda’ or ultimate joy. In my experience with music and dance therapy, I implemented this theory combining the process of Psychoanalysis in which abreaction that is repressed negative emotion get a healthy outlet and it also facilitates the process of catharsis through free association. This process helps the client to get back his insight and positive emotion.

In any art form, Nava Rasa or Nine Moods form an important aspect. I tried to incorporate these moods in dealing with certain mental ailments like depression, anxiety, mood disorder and problems related to adolescence. These nine moods refer to different emotional states of mind and body. By implementing the process of enacting these moods, a client can overcome his or her state of emotional imbalance.

Mudra or hand gestures form one of the most significant aspects of Indian performing art. By moving and placing the fingers in different ways, various hand gestures are formed which are used as a mode of communication while performing. Mudras may play an important role in music therapy. It can be used as a learning mechanism which helps in increasing and building up concentration and attention among clients. It also helps in therapy which relates to creativity and gives creative satisfaction to clients.

7. A Discussion on the Active and Passive involvement of a client during the Music Therapy session.

During the therapeutic session, involvement of the client may vary according to the client’s personality and emotional state. Those who are expressive and outspoken prefer to have Active participation. They try to sing, dance and improvise and be fully emotionally involved in the process. Their body and mind become active and through active participation these clients develop insight ..into their problems which eventually leads to positive life style. On the other hand, a client may have this feeling that he or she is not that good in performing, therefore, prefers to remain aloof from the active involvement. He/she prefers to be passive or receptive. In that case, the therapist helps him/her to listen and observe different music and dance of the client’s choice and this way helps to realize the innate disturbance and thus get rid of the negative emotional state of mind.

8. Definition of Mental Health and Mental Balance along with a short discussion on mental ailments like Mood Disorder, Depression, Anxiety etc.

The World Health Organization defines Mental Health as "a state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".

To prevent different mental disorders and instead of spending time and effort on the treatment of the same, it would be much better to create conditions which will promote healthful living and normal emotional development. There are different types of mental ailments, like depression, anxiety disorders, and mood disorder. In depression the symptoms are low mood, inability to find pleasure in activities which were formerly enjoyed, feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and self hatred. The symptoms may vary according to the severity of the disorder. Some may suffer from poor concentration and memory and withdrawal from society and thoughts of death. The patient may suffer from insomnia and also complain different physical symptoms like indigestion, fatigue, headache etc.

Anxiety disorder is a major ailment in present time, which covers four aspects of experiences an individual may have:-mental apprehension, physical tension, physical symptoms and dissociative anxiety. Anxiety disorder can be divided into generalized, phobic and panic disorder, and each has its own characteristics and symptoms. The emotions present in anxiety disorder range from simple nervousness to bouts of terror. Simply put, a mood disorder is a frequent or repeated disturbance of normal mood. Difficult situations in life bring stress, frustration and disappointment. These are normal reactions but if these last for more than few weeks or months wherein it affects the daily life, then it could be a sign of mood disorder. There are two types of mood disorder: unipolar, also known as clinical depression, and bipolar, also known as manic-depressive illness.

My presentation will also include power point slides and I shall conclude with a discussion on case studies


• Worked as a Clinical Psychologist at Child Guidance Clinic at Ritwik, Moulali.
• Worked as a Career Counsellor at the Asutosh College Training Centre.
• Also worked as a counselor at Techno India, Gokhale Memorial College and Chatterjee International.
• Presently working as a Private Counsellor.
• Lecturer and Advisor at the Performing Arts Therapy Centre, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
• Presented a paper as Resource Person at the International Seminar on Current Trends in Music Therapy Practices: Methodology, Techniques and Implementation (17th-18th February) organized by the Department of Vocal Music, Faculty of Performing Arts, Benares Hindu University & ICCR. Her paper was on Effect of Active and Passive Music Therapy on mental Health.
• Presented paper and held workshop at a conference ‘Music therapy and Dramatherapy for Children in Educational and other Settings’ on the 30.11.2012 and the 1.12.2012 at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She also gave a special performance at the Conference.
• Participated at a seminar “The Moving Space- Women in Performance” organized by the School of the Women’s Studies and Dance Alliance, India in the month of February (2012). She was one of the panel members at a conversational session.
• Conducted a A Workshop on Dramatherapy along with Music and Dance for Adolescent Youths to deal with Stress at the Music and Dance Therapy Conference held in Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (November 2011).
• Oral presentation on, “ A WORKSHOP ON DANCE THERAPY ALONG WITH MUSIC AND DRAMA TO DEAL WITH STRESS IN EVERYDAY LIFE BASED ON BHARATA’S NATYASASTRA, THE FIFTH VEDA”, at 20th International Conference on Dance Movement Therapy, Seoul, Korea 2013.
• Presented a paper titled “Stress, Music and Well-Being” at XXIII Annual Convention of Ntional Academy of Psychology (NAOP) India organized by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela held on December 13-15, 2013.
• Presented a Paper titled “Music and Well-Being” at the UGC Sponsored Two-Day National Seminar organized by the Department of Home Science, University of Calcutta on February 21 and 22, 2014. The seminar was titled “Therapeutic Ways to Wellness: Relevance of Nutrition, Psychology, Art and Music.”
• Presented a paper on Dance/Music Therapy and Children’s disorders at the Scientific Conference on Comprehensive Health Care held on 19th and 20th April 2014 at Jupiter Hospital, Thane, Mumbai organized by the Association of Physicians of India.
• Invited as resource person at the international yoga and well being conference to present paper on the therapeutic aspect of Indian classical dance.
• Her paper was chosen during the international music therapy seminar in Austria.
• conducted workshop with middle aged persons for overall physical and mental well being through music and dance movements organised by "Rabi Rashmi" , Kolkata
• present a paper on Alzheimer problem related with old age or dementia at "Antora"
• a student is working on the therapeutic aspect of rabindra nath tagore songs, surangama is guiding the student.


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