A general definition of music therapy encompassing its therapeutic use as well as target was provided by Wigram (2000, p. 29):
Music therapy is the use of music in clinical, educational and social situations to treat clients or patients with medical, educational, social or psychological needs.
Music therapy has been formally defined to include three aspects of therapy; music, interpersonal relationship between the patient and the therapist, and finally the health outcomes of the use of music as a therapeutic procedure. Thus music therapy can be defined as “the prescribed use (by a qualified music therapist) of music, and the relationship that develops through shared musical experiences to assist or motivate a person to achieve non-musical goals” (Brunk, 2004, p. 7).
Munro and Mount (1978, p. 1029) have defined music therapy as “controlled use of music and its influence on the human being to aid in physiological, psychological and emotional integration during treatment of an illness or disability”
Aspects of music therapy
The three critical aspects determining the efficacy of music therapy include the type of music, the nature of relationship between the therapist and the client, and finally the health outcome of the therapy (Brunk, 2004, p. 11).