Japan 'Pill-harmonic' Orchestra prescribes classical music pieces for audience ailments

Tokyo-based orchestra offers musical cures for ailments in push for new audiences

Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Published: June 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm


In a bid to counter falling concert attendance, the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra has come up with the idea of prescribing classical music for a variety of ailments.

A series of 'pills' have been created which are actually micro SD cards loaded with specially chosen music. A spokesperson from the orchestra said: ‘For many people, classical music has become something that has nothing to do with them.’

Tongue firmly in cheek, the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra have packaged the chips in small paper bags which look like prescriptions.

The spokesperson said: 'We started prescribing classical music as an alternative medicine – namely, Japan Pill-Harmonic. The "pills" are actually classical music data, put in small packages that looks like an envelope for prescription drugs. Different ‘pills’ are prescribed for each ‘symptom’ – like sleeping, vitamin effects or stomachache.

So, 'Spring' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons is prescribed for a good night's sleep, Barber's Adagio for Strings for a good cry, Prokofiev's 'Classical' Symphony to put a smile on the patient's face and Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice to help someone make a decision.

Slightly more oddly, the first movement from Brahms's Symphony No. 1 is prescribed for constipation and the Ride of the Valkyries from Wagner's Die Walküre is supposed to help patients 'feel male'.

The campaign was a Gold Winner at the Cannes Lions 60th International Festival of Creativity on 20 June.

The orchestra spokesperson said: ‘We succeeded in making those who were less engaged in the classical music feel, not visualise, that the music offers the tunes just for themselves.’


Emily Clark

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