Olson-Sorflaten, Theresa Meredith
Increased personal harmony and integration as effects of Maharishi Gandharva music on affect, physiology, and behavior: the psychophysiology of an evolving audience.

Order No. 9534648

This dissertation presents a theoretical understanding of Maharishi Gandharva VedaSM music and five exploratory studies on its integrating effects for the listener. Experiment 1 measured immediate pre-post effects of five live concerts (N = 697), using a specially created self-report bipolar adjective check list based on Maharishi Ayurveda, measuring balanced and imbalanced affect. (1) The concerts significantly balanced affect on three orthogonal scales, indicating reduced tension, decreased irritability, and less lethargy (p <.0001); (2) females changed more than males on the first two dimensions; (3) greater pre-post changes occurred in the evening compared to afternoon performances. Experiment 2 (N = 188) found no social compliance effects. Also, unfamiliar Maharishi Gandharva Veda music produced greater balance on the tension dimension than did familiar, liked Western Baroque.

Experiments 3 and 4 were pilot EEG experiments with single subjects. Experiment 3 found that Maharishi Gandharva Veda music improved psychophysiological balance as indicated by increased global EEG alpha and theta activity and by changes in the subject's Maharishi Ayur-Vedic pulse taken by a trained physician. Experiment 4 found frontal beta power increased, associated with subjective experiences of bliss.

Experiment 5 measured immediate effects of Maharishi Gandharva Veda music on 27 psychiatric, institutionalized geriatrics randomly assigned to two groups--20 min five days a week for eight weeks of Maharishi Gandharva Veda music or Western Baroque music. Previous investigators have shown that the Western Baroque selections had significant therapeutic effects. No significant changes were found in either group for the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale or Fairview Self-Help Scale, which were administered every two weeks six hours after the session. Thus, neither Maharishi Gandharva Veda music nor Western Baroque had long-term therapeutic effects for this elderly psychiatric population for the amount of exposure to the music that they received. However, structured observations during the music indicated the Maharishi Gandharva Veda group demonstrated greater improvement in physical and social behavior.

Together, the five experiments suggest Maharishi Gandharva Veda music can be a powerful tool for balancing the individual's mind, body, and behavior. Further research is needed to confirm these initial findings. Source: DAI, 56, no. 06A, (1995): 2039


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