A Look at the History of Relationships Between Medicine and Music

In conversation with Professor Dr. Darko Breitenfeld, internationally acclaimed social psychiatrist, alcohologist and one of the pioneers of Musicotherapy in Europe

In our premiere meeting a week ago, we examined how neurological sciences are trying to understand the mechanisms of music's action on the brain in persistent epilepsy. Today, we take a glimpse back to a time when the profession did not have the technical knowhow or capacities to observe human conditions down to the finest molecular-genetic and microstructural detail; still, it grasped the significance of illness in the social environment and its dependence on socio-economic and cultural factors. It responded to this where it saw the problem: in society, in the human environment, in marginal life situations and the unrecognised special needs of a large number of people of all ages (e.g. in children with developmental disabilities, in alcoholics, in the elderly).

How did it use music to help, what directions of research and development did this open up, and what remains of the pioneering days? In the following broadcasts we will host representatives of this profession's different directions. In the spring series, we also expect to discuss the supporting evidence of the neurological disciplines, especially neurophysiology and neuropsychology, further substantiating the identity and importance of music therapy. But to start, a look back at the beginnings: neuropediatrician, chief physician Igor Mihael Ravnik has invited to the microphone professor Dr Darek Breitenfeld, a specialist neuropsychiatrist, renowned social psychiatrist alcohologist who is still actively involved in the clubs of recovered alcoholics in Zagreb, a medical historian interested in the illnesses of the great music artists, and a pioneer of music therapy in this part of Europe. You are kindly invited to tune in.


Author and Host • Igor M Ravnik

Guest • Darko Breitenfeld

Editors • Saška Rakef, Tina Ogrin

Anchors • Barbara Zupan, Renato Horvat

Sound Designer • Miha Klemenčič

Technical support and Coordination • Anže Ančimer

Proofreading • Mojca Blažej Cirej

Produced by • Radio Slovenija, B-AIR

Premiere • 18th of February 2021