What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a special type of therapy where forms of musical interaction and communication are used alongside verbal communication. (Gold et al, 2009)

• Systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to promote health, using music experiences and the relationships developing through them as dynamic forces of change. (Bruscia, 1998)

• Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages.

• Music therapy interventions can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, promote physical rehabilitation. (American Musical Therapy Association, 2009)
What music therapy is NOT?
• Treatments rely solely on the direct effects of music alone, which do not involve or depend upon a process of intervention and change within a client-therapist relationship are not music therapy.

• The term “music medicine” is sometimes used to distinguish such treatments form music therapy. (Bruscia, 1998 ; Gold et al, 2009)
History of Music Therapy
• Using music as a healing medium dates back to ancient times which is evident in biblical scriptures and historical writings of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, China, India, Greece, and Rome.

• The oldest known documentation of medical practices, the Kahum papyrus, refers to the use of incantations for healing the sick.

• Greek philosopher Pythagoras is considered the founder of music therapy in the 6th century. (Prickett, C & Standley, J, 1994 ; Nillson, 2008)
History of Music Therapy
• The first documented music medicine in a general hospital began in 1484 in the Beyazid Hospital (“Beyazit Kulliyesi”), in the city of Edirne, during Ottoman Empire.

• Mental Disorders were treated with music and each key (“makam”) of classical Turkish Music were used to treat a different disease. (Poch, 1970)
“Beyazıd Kulliyesi”, Edirne, Turkey
History of Music Therapy
• In 1744 A. J. Rodríguez in Spain, established the basis of a scientific theory of Music Therapy in his work : “Palestra Crítico Médica” (Medical Critical Arena)

• In 1800, Florence Nightingale in France recognized the power of music in hospital wards during Crimean War and used it to aid in the healing process for soldiers. (Poch, 1970 ; Nilsson, 2008)

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