Music: Pathology

Ever since primitive medicine men cast out devils with incantations and dances, music and medicine have kept up a nodding acquaintance. Asclepius, Greek god of healing, used three methods to treat the ill: drugs, surgery and "soft music." Ancient Greek Theophrastus used music to cure snakebite; Ancient Greek Pythagoras used it to treat insanity. The savage breast of many a high-strung potentate, from Saul to Hitler, has been soothed by music's charms.

Modern medicos do not place quite so much reliance on the curative properties of music as some of their earlier colleagues did....

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