The 5 Best Books
on the Topic Music Therapy
1. The Music Therapy Handbook By Barbara L. Wheeler (2015)

This book is a key resource for music therapists and also demonstrates how music therapy can be used by other mental health and medical professionals. It provides case material and an extensive look at music therapy, including both the basic concepts as well as the emerging clinical approaches. It contains a comprehensive section on clinical applications.

2. The New Music Therapist's Handbook By Suzanne B. Hanser (2000)

This is a revised, updated version of Hanser's 1987 book. It reflects recent developments in the field of music therapy. This book serves as a 'go-to' resource for both students and professionals. It contains an introduction to music therapy as a profession, provides guidelines for setting up a practice, and describes new clinical applications as well as relevant case studies.

3. Case Studies in Music Therapy Edited by Kenneth E. Bruscia (1991)

This book is suitable as a reference, a textbook for students, or simply to provide an introduction to the field of music therapy. It is made up of 42 case-histories of children, adolescents and adults receiving group and individual therapy in a range of different settings, in order to demonstrate the process of music therapy from beginning to end.

The book describes various approaches and techniques in music therapy, and captures moving stories of people worldwide who have benefitted from music therapy and the relationships developed with music therapists.

4. Defining Music Therapy (3rd ed.) By Kenneth E. Bruscia (originally published 1989)

Bruscia's book examines the unique difficulties of defining music within a therapeutic context and, conversely, defining therapy within a music context. It compares and examines more than 40 definitions of music therapy and provides a new definition. Bruscia discusses each component of this new definition and by doing so suggests boundaries for what music therapy IS versus what it IS NOT.

5. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain By Oliver Sacks (2007)

This book is slightly different to the others. It examines the place music occupies in the brain, and how music affects the human condition. Sacks explores cases of what he terms "musical malalignment". He explains why music is irresistible and can be both healing and unforgettable.
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