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Classical Notes

Towards less savage breasts

Posted at 8:26 AM on August 28, 2006 by John Zech
Filed under: The blog

On a nursing home visit a few years ago I was pleasantly surprised to see a woman playing familiar old songs and hymns on a celtic harp. She was a music therapist, and her instrument provided a nicely portable way of bringing some joy to some of the residents in their rooms without being too instrusive or loud.

It seems the celtic harp is finding its way into the recovery rooms of some hospitals as well. But the tunes on this playlist are not familiar ones. Apparently easily recognizable songs can trigger negative responses from patients. One harpist likes to use some very old tunes from a book called "The Healer's Way: Soothing Music for Those in Pain." There's more in a story in today's NY Times.

A lot of our listeners say they listen to classical radio because it's "soothing." Does that mean we should be playing more harp music?