End Notes

1. “Infirmary music” was an intimate expression of French monastic medicine in eleventh-century Cluny and anticipated the holism of both the hospice and palliative medical movements by almost 800 years: Therese Schroder-Sheker, “Music for the Dying: A Personal Account of the New Field of Music Thanatology,” Journal of Holistic Medicine, vol. 12, Issue 1 (1994).

2. Among the hospices in the Bay Area that provide music volunteers at the bedside are Zen Hospice and Hospice by the Bay: Kris Montgomery, “Enriching Hospice Care,” San Francisco Medicine, vol. 81. no. 2 (2008).

3. “Listening to soothing music for a half hour a day while breathing deeply can significantly reduce your blood pressure without drugs.”: Sherry Baker, “Music Therapy Show Promise for Treating High Blood Pressure,” Natural News (June 21, 2008).

4. “Overall, music does have positive effects on pain management. It can help reduce the sensation as well as distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain. It causes the body to release endorphins to counteract the pain.”: “How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health” eMedExpert (February 18, 2016).

5. “The ultimate goal is entrainment, a process intended to synchronize the patient’s vital signs with the music.” Eileen Hadidian, “Healing Muses: Adding Sound to Silent Technology,” San Francisco Medicine, vol. 81. no. 2 (2008).

6. “New research suggests that familiar music can increase the arousal level of some comatose patients,” Mo Constandi, “Familiar Music Arouses Coma Patients,” The Guardian (July 12, 2012).

7. Dr. Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia (Knopf 1997), page xi.


The Institute of Health and Healing (California Pacific Medical Center) offers a healing harp certification program taught by Portia Diwa.

Healing Muses is a nonprofit that provides live music to support patient care in hospitals, hospices, and convalescent centers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Songwriting Works, a nonprofit based in Port Townsend, Washington, is a team of professional songwriters who compose music with people of all ages with an emphasis on the older population.

Threshold Choir is a network of a cappella choirs of primarily women’s voices: a community whose mission is to sing for and with those at the thresholds of life.

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