Musica Humana

Beach on Salton Sea in California (@ Flickr/nate2b)

This is about a Danish research project called Musica Humana which involves music specially composed to relax nervous patients, calm busy nurses and bring deeply anaesthetised patients back to reality. Based on the rhythm of a human heart – and woven together with the familiar sounds of the natural world – the music of Danish Composer Niels Eje has astounded even the most cynical of medics by calming the heart-beat of patients undergoing intensive cardiac procedures. And subject to rigorous scientific testing, the sound environment created by Musica Humana has been proven to help patients recover better, feel less pain and have a much more pleasant experience of their stay in hospital. We visit the musicians and scientists behind Musica Humana and ask how this music helps in the healing process.

Producer: Anne Blair Gould

Broadcast: April 14, 2004