Classical music as antidepressant. This study comes out of Alzahra University, in Tehran, where a group of researchers, noting that music therapy has already been shown to reduce pain, improve sleep quality, and improve mood in cancer patients underoing therapy and multiple sclerosis patients, wondered if music might alleviate depression as well. It does. They took 56 depressed subjects, had them listen to Beethoven's 3d and 5th piano sonatas for 15 minutes twice a week in a clean, otherwise quiet room -- and saw their depression scores on the standard Beck Depression Scale go up signficantly.I have no idea how valid those data are, but just in case, I've embedded a particularly interesting graphical presentation of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
Following the first four bars, Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. Shortly after, a very short fortissimo bridge, played by the horns, takes place before a second theme is introduced. This second theme is in E flat major, the relative major, and it is more lyrical, written piano and featuring the four-note motif in the string accompaniment. The codetta is again based on the four-note motif. The development section follows, using modulation, sequences and imitation, and including the bridge. During the recapitulation, there is a brief solo passage for oboe in quasi-improvisatory style, and the movement ends with a massive coda.