The future of music in therapy and medicine

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec;1060:303-8. doi: 10.1196/annals.1360.023.


The understanding of music's role and function in therapy and medicine is undergoing a rapid transformation, based on neuroscientific research showing the reciprocal relationship between studying the neurobiological foundations of music in the brain and how musical behavior through learning and experience changes brain and behavior function. Through this research the theory and clinical practice of music therapy is changing more and more from a social science model, based on cultural roles and general well-being concepts, to a neuroscience-guided model based on brain function and music perception. This paradigm shift has the potential to move music therapy from an adjunct modality to a central treatment modality in rehabilitation and therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Music Therapy / trends*
  • Music*
  • Neurology / methods
  • Neurology / trends
  • Research / trends