The role of music therapy in rehabilitation: improving aphasia and beyond

Int J Neurosci. 2018 Jan;128(1):90-99. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2017.1353981. Epub 2017 Aug 8.


Music is part of the human nature, and it is also philogenically relevant to language evolution. Language and music are bound together in the enhancement of important social functions, such as communication, cooperation and social cohesion. In the last few years, there has been growing evidence that music and music therapy may improve communication skills (but not only) in different neurological disorders. One of the plausible reasons concerning the rational use of sound and music in neurorehabilitation is the possibility to stimulate brain areas involved in emotional processing and motor control, such as the fronto-parietal network. In this narrative review, we are going to describe the role of music therapy in improving aphasia and other neurological disorders, underlying the reasons why this tool could be effective in rehabilitative settings, especially in individuals affected by stroke.

Keywords: Music therapy; aphasia; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / rehabilitation*
  • Consciousness Disorders / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Neurological Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Stroke / therapy*