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December 2021

Music therapy in 19th century America

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1987; 24: 76-87.

Abstract: In a single-trial pilot study, drums were used to define the effects of particular elements of music and sound in music therapy. When repetitive rhythms were presented as background music to 4 severely mentally retarded 9-10 yr olds, 3 Ss showed a change in level of development in the unstructured task of free drawing. Two Ss regressed; one advanced. ABSTRACT 2: The history of music therapy in the United States has not been thoroughly investigated and documented. The few sources containing information on the historical uses of music in medicine concentrate primarily on 20th century practices, while virtually omitting 19th century contributions to the field. The purpose of this study was to analyze selected music therapy literature that appeared in 19th century medical journals and dissertations. The articles found in these publications indicated interest during this time in advocating the use of music to provide the patient an alternate, more holistic approach to treatment. The dissemination of music therapy ideas occurred almost exclusively through these publications, which unfortunately resulted in very limited proliferation of the topic because of the nature of the audience (i,e,m primarily physicians). Nine articles were analyzed; the study was based on primary evidence located in medical journals and dissertations written between 1804 and 1899. The sources were located in a variety of bibliographies found in books, journals, dissertations, and theses.

Note: background repetitive drum rhythms in music therapy; development level in free drawing task; severely mentally retarded 9 10 yr olds

Keyword(s): Music therapy; auditory stimulation; drawing ; severely mentally retarded; musical instruments; cognitive development; school age children; childhood

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