Although music has been used as an adjunct to therapy in one form or another for thousands of years, scientific study of the relation of music to healing started about 1900. Music is no longer used to exorcise evil spirits, but the use of background music as an adjunct to physical medicine, dentistry, the induction of general anesthesia, and operations performed under local, spinal, or regional anesthesia is well known. Important as this and other passive uses of music therapy are, an even more important aspect of this form of treatment is found in active participation by the patient. Such a program finds its greatest usefulness in the treatment of patients with mental illnesses but may also be extended to a variety of other patients. Trained music therapists are being sought on an ever-increasing scale by the more progressive large general hospitals to aid in general rehabilitation programs. (Elsewhere in
MUSIC THERAPY. JAMA. 1956;162(18):1625–1626. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970350041013
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