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It's 2006! 
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THE HARP

To join Club Vivo Per Lei / I Live for Music, go HERE.  

QUESTION: Why is it an archetype that in heaven there are angels playing harps?

ANSWER: Read on.

In Club Vivo Per Lei / I Live for Music, one of our EQ outreach and educational projects (free to all subscribers), we realize the soothing and healing powers of music. 

As one listener wrote to www.allclassical.org, which is free, and we highly recommend it: "I've been hearing you and the other announcers talk about listening at work. I agree that classical music helps me keep psychologically and emotionally more even keel while I work as a freelance journalist. 

"Today I was on an especially tight deadline and couldn't mess around. Having classical music playing at my desk and in my car helps keep in check my natural tendency to stress out. Keep up the good work on 89.9 FM."

We direct you today to an article on msn entitled, "Harp has power to soothe, but can it heal? Instrument shows potential to synchronize irregular heartbeats."

Jennifer MacKinnon, a physician with a degree in music played the harp for a patient under sedation while doctors observed the effects on heart rhythm in what was aptly described as "some weird sci-fi melding of heaven and high-tech Earth."  The patient had afibrillation, irregular heart-beat.

Interest was whetted when Dr. Amy Goldberger of Harvard Medical School proposed the theory that varied rhythms created by healthy hearts are similar to note patterns in classical music. This impelled Kocheril and MacKinnon to research the notion that music can alleviate some of the mental and physical symptoms of disease.

Bravo! At Club Vivo, we know for sure a tonic of classical music adheres to the first dictum of medicine, the Hippocratic Oath: "First of all, do no harm."

“'People know that music relaxes you. We’re just trying to get more medical validation,' said Dr. MacKinnon... She took up harp-playing at age 10 and as a child, used to play for patients of her father, also a physician."

We discuss in Club Vivo, the common association of healing and music, represented by the archetype of Apollo, the Greek god of Medicine and Music. 

What's being discussed now was known centuries ago. That's what an archetype is all about, and it is an archetype as well that angels in heaven play harps. I suspect this goes back to the lyre, and what Orpheus was able to do with his.  More on this below.

Some believe the harp has special propensity for healing because the resonant vibrations from live harp music may be particularly effective at regulating quivering heart rhythms. [Note it says "live" harp music."] 

Koceril thinks other musical instruments and recorded music might offer similar benefits which would make a “music prescription” more doable. "Potentially, there could be a prescription for music five days a week ... to keep the heart healthy in general and specifically to keep rhythm disorders under control."

There is at least one music therapist who offers her clients an hour of her own live harp playing. She uses it to relieve chronic pain, such as that from osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Bizarre to me, a doctor dislikes the inclusion in the operating room of "the elegant but unwieldy harp" when the room is already accommodating a rash of unwieldy and not elegant equipment. 

And being of the right brain sort, well whole-brained, I immediately jump to the hypothesis (which is simply a learning-based speculation which research must go on to "prove") that, knowing doctors as I do, and their affinity for music, the presence of harp playing in the operating room would definitely help the physicians and what helps your doctor helps you, as they are, like it not, known to be a factor in your healing. Not just their hands, but their personalities, their presence. (We recommend and offer a version of the EQ Alive! Program for physicians. Please refer this information.)
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THE REPLAY STORE - - for your music needs

Our Replay store endeavors to make music appreciation accessible to everyone, regardless of your pocketboook. 

Please check with me before you order because I can't seem to keep these in stock, the demand has been so high. Currently I have only one of the "Understanding Opera," which I offer for a bargain price of $77.00.  There is usually a waiting list for Understanding Classical Music. 

It is our goal to offer you dramatic savings on one of the best experiences you can buy -- tapes and CDs from The Teaching Company.

If you would like to further this outreach by donating your gently-played Teaching Company tapes and CDs, please email me.

You'll have an opportunity to learn with the teachers who teach at the schools where a college education costs $100k, and is worth 10 times that. Our gently-used collection gives you the opportunity to enjoy these at incredible savings. 

The more you're comfortable with music, the more it can help. Common sense (EQ) would advise that, if you're puzzling about the Italian in "Ave Maria" or "Va'Pensiero", the former, soothing, the latter, inspiring, you won't be relaxed.  Learn more.  The more you know ... the more you know. 
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Now, the Celtic harp music has long enchanted me, and we know that the Irish claim to the kingdom of lullabies, which is a heaven unto itself, cannot be challenged.And what is a lullaby, but the soothing of the most distraught person there is - - a newborn trying to adjust to living on dry land. 

The Irish have no contenders in the realm of lullabies. My favorite it The Garten Mother's Lullaby. See the newborns in the Kosica-Saca hospital in eastern Slovakia enjoying Mozart through headsets, because, said Slavka Viragová, the doctor in charge of the hospital's maternity unit, who launched the music project, the birth trauma is "enormously stressful for the baby." Makes me wish they could hear harp, and Celtic lullabies too. Or Rachmaninoff (see below**)

We recommend My Gentle Harp: Celtic Favorites. Listen to "The Harp that Once Through Tara's Halls." To order, go HERE.  

In Club Vivo Per Lei / I Live for Music, we're learning more about music and EQ and we invite you to join us today. It's free. My gift to you!

Club Vivo Per Lei is dedicated to dear friend and physician, Dr. John J. Alifano, Jr., who practises in Massachusetts, is an accomplished pianist, and has healed many. His favorite composer is **Rachmaninoff, for listening, and also he plays it beautifully. Many may not claim Rachmaninoff to necessarily be their "favorite" (Beethoven is the King!), but many consider it the most healing. On Club Vivo you will find an article written by a physician about a patient's use of Rachmaninoff (also spelled Rachmaninov.) 

ON ARKIV MUSIC YOU CAN PICK UP AN AFFORDABLE CD OF RACHMANINOV AND GIVE IT A TRY. 

P.S. Beethoven continually tops surveys. Is he your favorite? Let us know. Take THE MUSIC SURVEY". We want to know your opinion. 
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OF HARP LULLABIES . . .

"The Song of the Harp-Weaver," 
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Son," said my mother,
When I was knee-high,
"you've need of clothes to cover you,
and not a rag have I.
"There's nothing in the house
To make a boy breeches,
Nor shears to cut a cloth with,
Nor thread to take stitches.
"There's nothing in the house
But a loaf-end of rye,
And a harp with a woman's head
Nobody will buy,"
And she began to cry. 

That was in the early fall.
When came the late fall,
"Son," she said, "the sight of you
Makes your mother's blood crawl,—

"Little skinny shoulder-blades
Sticking through your clothes!
And where you'll get a jacket from
God above knows.
"It's lucky for me, lad,
Your daddy's in the ground,
And can't see the way I let
His son go around!"
And she made a queer sound.

That was in the late fall.
When the winter came,
I'd not a pair of breeches
Nor a shirt to my name.
I couldn't go to school,
Or out of doors to play.
And all the other little boys
Passed our way.
"Son," said my mother,
"Come, climb into my lap,
And I'll chafe your little bones
While you take a nap."
And, oh, but we were silly
For half and hour or more,
Me with my long legs,
Dragging on the floor,
A-rock-rock-rocking
To a mother-goose rhyme!
Oh, but we were happy
For half an hour's time!
But there was I, a great boy,
And what would folks say
To hear my mother singing me
To sleep all day,
In such a daft way?
Men say the winter
Was bad that year;
Fuel was scarce,
And food was dear.
A wind with a wolf's head
Howled about our door,
And we burned up the chairs
And sat upon the floor.
All that was left us
Was a chair we couldn't break,
And the harp with a woman's head
Nobody would take,
For song or pity's sake.
The night before Christmas
I cried with cold,
I cried myself to sleep 
Like a two-year old.
And in the deep night
I felt my mother rise,
And stare down upon me
With love in her eyes.
I saw my mother sitting
On the one good chair,
A light falling on her
From I couldn't tell where.
Looking nineteen,
And not a day older,
And the harp with a woman's head
Leaned against her shoulder.
Her thin fingers, moving
In the thin, tall strings,
Were weav-weav-weaving
Wonderful things.
Many bright threads,
From where I couldn't see,
Were running through the harp-strings
Rapidly,
And gold threads whistling
Through my mother's hand.
I saw the web grow,
And the pattern expand.
She wove a child's jacket,
And when it was done
She laid it on the floor
And wove another one.
She wove a red cloak
So regal to see,
"She's made it for a king's son,"
I said, "and not for me."
But I knew it was for me.
She wove a pair of breeches
Quicker than that!
She wove a pair of boots
And a little cocked hat.
She wove a pair of mittens,
She wove a little blouse,
She wove all night
In the still, cold house.
She sang as she worked,
And the harp-strings spoke;
Her voice never faltered,
And the thread never broke,
And when I awoke,—
There sat my mother
With the harp against her shoulder,
Looking nineteeen,
And not a day older, 
A smile about her lips,
And a light about her head,
And her hands in the harp-strings
Frozen dead.
And piled beside her
And toppling to the skies,
Were the clothes of a king's son,
Just my size.

Comment about poem:  “We were very poor and my father had left my mother and us. She used to recite this poem when we were going to sleep. I still recite it in my mind at night. It helps to relax me and help me to sleep. Through the years I've forgotten some of the lines. Thank you for posting it on your website.”

 
graphics royalty free from www.clipart.com