Music as Medicine : The History of Music Therapy Since Antiquity book cover
1st Edition

Music as Medicine
The History of Music Therapy Since Antiquity

Edited By

Peregrine Horden

ISBN 9781138269422
Published November 24, 2016 by Routledge
416 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Music, whether performed or heard, has been seen as therapeutic in the history of many cultures. How have its therapeutic properties been conceptualized and explained? Which cultures have used music therapy? What were their aims and techniques, and how much continuity is there between ancient, medieval and modern practice? These are the questions addressed by the essays in this volume. They focus on the place of music therapy in European intellectual, medical and musical traditions, from their classical roots to the development of the music therapy profession since the Second World War. Chapters covering the Judaic, Islamic, Indian and South-East Asian traditions add global, comparative perspectives. Music as Medicine is the first book to establish the whole shape of the history of music therapy in a systematic and scholarly way. It addresses the problem of defining what music therapy has meant in different cultures and periods, and sets the agenda for future research in the subject. It will appeal to a diverse readership of historians, musicologists, anthropologists, and practitioners.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Peregrine Horden; Musical solutions: past and present in Music therapy, Peregrine Horden; Part I: Ancient Literate Traditions: Commentary on part I with a note on China, Peregrine Horden; Music therapy in antiquity, Martin West; Jewish and Muslim traditions of music therapy, Amnon Shiloah; Music therapy: some possibilities in the Indian tradition J.B. Katz; Part II: Medieval Europe: Commentary on part II, with a note on the early Middle Ages, Peregrine Horden; Music and medicine in the thirteenth century, Christopher Page; Music therapy in the later Middle Ages: the case of Hugo van der Goes, Peter Murray Jones; Part III: Renaissance and Early Modern Europe: Commentary on part III, with a note on Paracelsus, Peregrine Horden; Marsilio Ficino, the second Orpheus, Angela Voss; Music, melancholy and medical spirits in early modern thought, Penelope Gouk; Curing man and the Cosmos: the power of music in French Renaissance poetry, Noel Heather; Musical treatments for lovesickness: the early modern heritage, Linda Phyllis Austern; Part IV: Tarantism: Commentary on part IV, with a note on the origins of Tarantism, Peregrine Horden; Ritualized illness and music therapy: views of Tarantism in the kingdom of Naples, David Gentilcore; Medical theories of Tarantism in eighteenth-century Spain, Pilar León Sanz; Tarantism in contemporary Italy: the Tarantula’s dance reviewed and revived, Karen Lüdtke; Part V: Modern currents: Commentary on part V, with notes on nineteenth-century America and on mesmerism and theosophy, Peregrine Horden; Music as cause and cure of illness in nineteenth-century Europe, Cheryce Kramer; Shamanism, music and the soul train, Keith Howard; The music therapy profession in modern Britain, Helen M. Tyler; Index.

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Peregrine Horden is Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London.


‘This unique book is essential reading for everyone who acknowledges that music brings both solace and exhilaration, and that it has the power to make coherent sense of our wayward emotions’ -Anthony Storr, FRCP, FRCPsych, FRSL.

'Horden's contributions to the volume he has masterminded are of exceptional quality. Ingenuously devised, they comprise not just a general introduction and a monograph chapter, but also a series of analytical commentaries placed before each of the book's three sections. They are elegant and erudite, informative but also questing: a delight for any interested reader to absorb and ponder' -Social History of Medicine

'Many historical questions regarding the therapeutic power of music, its use in healing, its place in specific culture and others are addressed in this book in a systematic, scholarly and sceptical manner… this book is a valid contribution to the history of music therapy' - International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music

‘Horden has written a stimulating introduction to the whole book, as well as smaller introductions to all the historical sections, demonstrating not only the historical overview and detail, but also knowledge of the contemporary situation of music therapy’ - Nordic Journal of Music Therapy Vol 9(2), 2000.