Before discussing healing music, let us consider the origin of music.
God is music because in Him there is an eternal and dynamic order. The Father loves the Son with ineffable love in the Spirit in such a way that each lives in the other without losing their distinction of persons in an harmonious eternal relationship of love, joy and peace in eternal splendor beyond our understanding. If we may so speak, rejoicing in God is so great that it reverberates in all creatures as the Music of Being or of all that is.
Creation is the music of God. Science reveals to us that all of nature is composed of energy waves and vibrations which make up every creature living and non living. Every atom is a bundle of vibrating energy and according to string theory "The universe is like a grand cosmic symphony resonating with all the various notes of these tiny vibrating strands of energy can play." (Brian Greene) Every creature is a unique melody of God and the universe is His symphony.
(Please click image) to hear a short commentary on string theory by Brian Green.
the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy,
the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth,
govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness."
Man as the image and likeness of God can also participate in God's music because God "fashioned the air to transmit musical sounds, the ear to receive them, the soul of man to throb with emotions demanding utterance, and all nature to be filled with sources of inspiration." (Capellmeister Solfgang Kasper) The foundation of music are vibrations produced by the human voice, percussion, strings and air instruments. In themselves they are not music but vibrations which the human ear picks up as sounds. What makes these sounds music is the order, rhythm and pitch/tone given to these sounds by our feeling and intelligence thereby creating melody.
Now, why is music a healing factor in our lives?
Due to our fallen nature we experience distortion and disorder in our being, body, soul and spirit. At times we experience boredom, loneliness, anxiety, pain, sorrow, envy, jealously, pride and many others aspects of the dark side of our nature. A biblical example is Saul, the first king of Israel whose pride and jealously of David led him to an attempt to kill David. David wound up in Saul court because he was good at playing the harp. His music at times helped Saul to revive the dark side of his soul. "One of the beauties of music is it can accomplish more than one goal at a time. Uplifting music can both divert, entertain and revive. Sad, soulful music can provide solace, encourage mental work and discharge emotions. The examples are endless." (PsyBlog: Seven Ways Music Influences Mood)
Many studies have been done on the physical healing power of music revealing positive effects. "The physical body reflects the sounds we perceive down to the biochemical level." Therefore, music can harmonize our biological rhythms which at times may be out of order causing sickness. In one experiment it was noted that there was an increase IgAm in the saliva which is immunoglobin found in the saliva which protects against harmful bacteria and toxins.
Our fallen nature tends to draw us away from God's presence so as to live only in the present world. Liturgical music has the effect of uplifting our thoughts and feelings toward the divine dimension of reality. Liturgical singing enhances our prayer to God because it engages the totality of our human powers and energies, beyond that of vocal prayer.