This review attempts to provide a brief overview of the role of music in health and disease. The review starts with a brief introduction to complementary/alternative medicine & mindbody medicine. The differences between music therapy & music medicine are highlighted next. An overview of the effects & clinical applications of music therapy is provided. Numerous randomized controlled trials & systematic reviews have elucidated the clinical benefits of music. Some of the salient published findings are presented in this review. Music therapy is postulated to have beneficial effects on health by reducing negative emotions & stress, inducing mental well-being, & harnessing the power of brain-body information transfer systems (neuroendocrine system, autonomic nervous system and the neuroimmune pathway). Neuroscience research on the brain's processing areas for music has revealed interesting facts. Some of these are described in this review. Experts have emphasized that musical preferences of the patient/client need to be taken into account while planning music therapy. The review ends with a note on the significance of musical characteristics & genre in the context of music therapy and music medicine.
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