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Tod Machover reveals music's holistic powers

January 21, 2012 |  1:00 pm

Dan Ellsey and Tod Machover
Nothing is accomplished by writing a piece of music, John Cage famously wrote in 1952.

Ditto on hearing a piece of music. Ditto on playing a piece of music.

“Our ears," he concluded, "are now in excellent shape.”

It turns out that not only are our ears in excellent shape, but also, 60 years later, we are finally finding encouraging confirmation that music is good for you, all of you. Music may even be our most holistic art form.

At least that’s the really good news from the brilliant composer and MIT Media Lab futurist Tod Machover. Here’s something that might make you feel better just hearing about it — the latest, culled from his recent report from the music healing frontline in a talk at UC Santa Barbara titled “Music, Mind and Health: Diagnosis, Treatment and Well-being Through Active Sound.”


Opera plugs in to the high-tech

Despite Technology, 'Brain Opera' Relies on Human Touch

Music soothes and awes -- and may help us heal

— Mark Swed

Photo: Tod Machover with cerebral palsy patient and composer Dan Ellsey. Credit: MIT Media Lab.