Healing music

A radio program from the European Institute of Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - MARDI 12 AVRIL 2016, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05

Instrumental music and singing played since the beginning of times a major role in the phenomenology of the sacred and in the dynamic process of individual psyche. The history of Israel, through centuries, is not an exception to this indispensable dimension in all cultures.

Traditional tales, be it in the Jewish world or in other civilizations, suggest that the musical sound acts on man’s unconsciousness, provoking various effects, and sometimes opposite: awakening of energies and cataleptic drowsiness, nervous excitation but also passivity, awakening of prophetic powers coming with amnesia, healing of illness, extatic experience of death or visit of sacred spirits...

The references to medium power of music are present in the Bible, the Talmud and the Kabbalah, even if the Kabbalah writings don’t dedicate systematic discussions on music and don’t express any opinion on this subject.

One of the oldest testimonies of the healing power of music can be found in the first book of Samuel, chapter XVI, where young David soothes, with the help of his kinnor, king Saul’s melancholy.

This therapy by the sound will find a particular echo in the 18th century with the birth of the Chassidic movement. In the Chassidic vision, instrumental music, singing and dancing are therapeutic tools to eradicate the moral nuisance of melancholy, which produces in man the disgust of life and the temptation to abandon faith. Thus Dov Baer of Lubavitch (1773-1827) dedicates an important part of his writings to music, as an active element of elevating the soul towards supreme extasy.

Through this broadcast, Franklin Rausky, Director of Studies at Institut Universitaire d’Etudes Juives Elie Wiesel and author of « Ivresse biblique » (PUF 2013), will guide us on the path to healing music.

La musique qui guérit - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)


Officer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute of Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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  • La musique qui guérit - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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