Sea shanties are having a minute today. Thanks to TikTok’s duet function, a performance of “Quickly Might the Wellerman Come” took the web by storm. It’s an appealing tune, which assisted it go viral, however that appealing rhythm likewise had a function. Sea shanties were sung to assist get individuals moving, which very same concept is utilized in dance treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s illness.
Hearing music can make individuals – and even some animals – relocate to the rhythm without thinking of it. According to neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, this capability has an evolutionary benefit, since it made it possible to collaborate integrated motions. A great deal of that collaborated motion that might have worked in the past, like raising heavy stones together, is now made with makers, however the very same neural paths still trigger individuals to instantly begin dancing when they hear a tune.
And it’s not simply dancing. Anybody who has actually ever chosen a run or walk while listening to music may have seen that they tend to integrate their speed to the beat of the tune. This is the basis of dance treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s illness. Scientists have actually discovered that listening to music might assist individuals with Parkinson’s keep much better balance while strolling, and minimize the variety of times they fell. Merely listening to music and relocating to the beat had the ability to get them to stroll with a more routine gait, and even continue to do so for a while after they stopped listening.
The propensity to move rhythmically when listening to music likewise connects into the history of sea shanties. These were tunes that sailors would sing at sea while they were doing recurring jobs or jobs that needed to be integrated (raising a sail together, for instance). The tune “The Wellerman” that just recently went viral online is believed to have actually come from the New Zealand whaling neighborhood in the 19th century. In the New York City Times, maritime manager Michael P. Dyer keeps in mind that the tune might have been sung while employees cut up whale meat. Singing balanced tunes like this might have kept them determined and operating in sync to get it done quicker.
So whether it’s a sea shanty or dance treatment, the concept behind it is the very same: hearing rhythms makes you move. For individuals with Parkinson’s it assists them stroll without falling, and for 19th century sailors and whalers it might assist them cruise a ship or cut a whale.
That raises a fascinating concern: Does this imply you can utilize sea shanties in Parkinson’s dance treatment? Technically, yes, however as music psychologist Dawn Rose stated when I interviewed her for a previous post a couple of years back, it appears to be crucial that individuals have a psychological connection to the tune that’s being played. That’s why they tend to utilize rhythmical music individuals recognize with, such as music from their youth. However who understands, perhaps now that sea shanties have actually gone viral, The Wellerman will be on future dance treatment playlists.