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November 28, 1990

Rehabilitation, Music and Human Well-Being

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco

University of California San Francisco


edited by Mathew H. M. Lee, 263 pp, with illus, $32.50, ISBN 0-918812-59-3, St Louis, Mo, MMB Music Inc, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;264(20):2682-2683. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450200090040

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In the attempt to provide a broad perspective on all aspects of music and its applications to medicine, this edited volume simply strays too far. There is great variability in the sometimes pedantic presentation and style. An excellent review of the historical perspective introduces the volume but then proceeds to place some modern-day theoretic possibilities within the framework of scientific fact.

Itoh and Lee, in the section on "Epidemiology and Music," posit that people ideally should have perfect health throughout a lifetime. One may reasonably argue that the search for rarely attainable perfection may in itself contribute to infirmity, at least in a psychological sense. The position of Rodgers, quoted later in the chapter, which suggests optimum health as the goal, appears far more realistic (although the authors disagree).

In Wilson's review of kinesiologic theory, the suggestion that true ballistic movements are terminated only by extrinsic barriers fails to incorporate