Healing through Music - Music and social cohesion


Staff - Faculty of Biomedical Sciences

Date: 5 December 2022 / 18:00 - 19:00

Multipurpose Hall of the East Campus in Lugano

Being involved in music plays a vital role in creating social bonds between individuals and groups, which in turn promotes health and well-being. Recent research has identified neural mechanisms through which singing, dancing and making music together create feelings of accomplishment that endure even when group musical activity has ended. This lecture will summarise the evolutionary history and role of musicality and socialising in the lives of our earliest ancestors before reviewing the current understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms that create this link. It will also consider how the socially cohesive effects of music have been intentionally harnessed for various purposes, from modern medicine to economic and political advantage through social manipulation.


  • Steven Mithen, archaeologist, University of Reading (UK)


  • Deborah Parker, musician and music therapist, Prima Materia Association, Montespertoli (I)


  • Peter Schulz, USI professor, Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society

Music programme

Grabit for tenor saxophone and ghettoblaster - Jacob ter Veldhuis (1951*)
Performed by: Ivan Perdomo (sassofono) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)