The ancients believed that music had the power sublimely to evolve or utterly to degrade the human psyche. Modern researchers have shown that music can exert a powerful influence on health, the state of mind, the emotions, and the physical body. Beethoven thoroughly understood this. Even in childhood he was aware of the inner power of music-its power to transform consciousness. His earliest letters tell of a young man already composing not for himself but for others and in the service of humanity.