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What is music therapy?

Music | Therapy | 09th September 2021 | Virtual Wire

Music can offer a unique opportunity for self-awareness and enrichment of expression by revealing our thoughts and feelings. Throughout history, music has played a role in expressing social consciousness as well as being a source of artistic inspiration for people.

We know that we are not exposed to a process without music from birth to death in all areas of life. The existence of timbres that surround and fill the ears of people of all ages. Cultures also explain the fact that we still do not use music effectively in treatment. Music therapy is a treatment model that dates back to ancient times, but its potential has not yet been adequately grasped and has not been reflected in daily practice.

The theoretical role of music in communication begins with the history of humanity. Music is the most effective method used in the expression and communication of feelings and thoughts between people and societies throughout history. Since the world was founded, it has played the greatest role in the development of the religious, military and spiritual power of societies.


Music in communication began long before the speech. Music is a very strong fundamental phenomenon that affects people's mental, physical, and spiritual behaviours, meets their communication needs, and balances social relations. When used as a music therapy method, it protects and improves the mental and physical health of people regardless of their age. Music not only makes people mentally strong but is also one of the most effective therapy methods used in the treatment of mental and physical health.

Music is a Greek word and has the same meaning all over the world. According to mythology, nine fairy girls, who are considered the daughters of Zeus, were called 'Muse'. The ancient Greeks believed that these fairy girls were responsible for arranging the beauty and harmony of the whole world. Therefore, it is accepted that the word 'music', comes from this 'muz' root.

Music therapy is one of the oldest treatment methods and it is known that it has been used to treat patients in various cultures for four thousand years. The ancient Greeks considered music the root of all virtues. Known for playing the lyre beautifully in ancient Greek mythology, Apollo was considered the god of both music and medicine, and by playing the lyre, he relieved people's troubles.


In the ancient Greeks, music was the basis of all virtues and was considered a great factor in the education and purification of the soul. The philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras explored the possibility of treating the despondent or the irritable with certain melodies. According to Pythagoras, music, which is the result of the harmony of sounds, is the most effective remedy in cases where the harmony in the body is disturbed.

In the early periods of known history, people thought that it was magical and mysterious when they could not explain something. They also described the sounds as the voices of the spirits in nature and believed that they reached the spirits by beating drums or making other sounds. Every living thing, and soul, has a voice, and a frequency. They tried to reach the voice of the spirits through song, rhythm and magic with their thoughts.

If we look at the recent history of music in therapy, The Prague music therapist Raudnitz was the first to examine the medical importance of music in psychosis in 1848. The “Music Therapy Association” was established in Vienna in 1959 and Germany in 1973. On the other hand, China uses it as technology and innovatively in electro-acupuncture treatments in anaesthesia.