Directed Figurative Imagery: Regarding the Question of the Therapeutic Infl uence of Baroque Music

Keywords: musical therapy, Helen Bonny, Joseph Moreno, music of the Baroque era, directed figurative perception, music and Alzheimer disease.


During the course of many centuries
the problem of the impact of music on human
beings has aroused interest in philosophers
and thinkers, generating numerous theories
and conceptions. A serious stage of development
of musical therapy occurred in the Baroque era.
During that period for the first time scholars
made the attempt to provide a systematization
of the means of musical expressivity according
to the principle of their perception, while
the musical compositions created during that
period are also broadly used in present-day
musical therapy. Baroque instrumental music
taken as a principle for the method
of the directed figurative perception
is seminal for working with elderly people
with Alzheimer’s disease. Figurative perception
and directed apprehension of music are
traditionally considered to be the initial stage
of a group psychotherapeutic process
and is used for preparation of the participants
for a session of psychodrama. On the basis
of existing systems (those of Helen Bonny
and Joseph Moreno) the author of the article
developed an independent methodology,
the aim of which is to establish and expand
verbal communication with patients
at an intermediate (moderate) stage
of the Alzheimer disease. In addition
to the main goals the achievement of which
is pursued by activities in directed figurative
perception, the music chosen in consideration
of the patient’s individual characteristic
features arouses a therapeutic impact
on him, being conducive to the rehabilitation of personal memories and the optimization
of the human being’s psycho-emotional state.

Baroque Art: Motion in Time