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Medical News & Perspectives
February 9, 2000

Music Therapists Chime In With Data on Medical Results

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JAMA. 2000;283(6):731-733. doi:10.1001/jama.283.6.731-JMN0209-2-1

Washington—Music can affect moods, spark memories, and foster associations. Many people believe these abilities can make music uniquely helpful in relieving the effects of mental or physical disability or illness—a theory that has led to its increasing use as a therapeutic tool.

Since ancient times, music has been recognized as having therapeutic value. The Bible recounts that young David was summoned to play the harp for a tormented King Saul: "Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him" (I Samuel 16:23). Among the ancient Greeks, the god Apollo was most associated with the cultivated arts of music and medicine.

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