Music through time
Kirstin Lund looks back at how music developed as a therapeutic solution throughout history
“Let the music heal your soul, Let the music take control…”
Whether it is wise to take medical advice provided by the lyrics of the Backstreet Boys is debatable. But song words such as these show the strong partnership that music and healing share in popular culture today. Recognising the healing power of music through its role in altering moods, relaxation practices, and as an adjunct to improving memory has created a thriving music therapy movement.
The creation of music therapy as a professional entity makes it easy to assume that music therapy is of relatively recent origin. In fact it marked only one milestone in a long and comprehensive historical tradition of music within medicine, dating back to the early modern age. Today holistic treatments, championing the importance of recognising links between mind and body, have an increasingly important place at the forefront of medical care. By examining the