Kees Huges Organ music and psychiatry
Het ORGEL 98 (2002), nr. 2, 38-39 [summary]

(Kees Huges is music therapist)

Many people in Holland associate organ music with negative emotions. This makes organ music very fit for music therapy: people react to it easily.

The first sessions of music therapy in a group are often frightening to the participants: they are afraid to admit that they like organ music. It can be helpful to let the members determine with which colour they associate a specific piece of organ music.

The most frequently chosen colours appear to be white (marriage), black (death), brown (church pews, the pub next to the church), yellow (warmth, security) and blue (heaven, liberation, ‘away from the troubles that bother me now’).

Lengthy organ music in a plenum registration is generally judged negatively. Romantic organ music and organ music in the style of Jan Zwart and Feike Asma refer often to the distress of a strict upbringing. Lighter baroque music in particular (trio sonatas, for example) leads to relief: can an organ do that as well?!

Organ music can thus contribute to recovery as well as to broadening one’s musical horizon.