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Music as Medicine: a Literature Review on the Effectiveness of Mozart’s Music on Epilepsy.

Angela Weihan Ng & Sarah Yew Yen Yee

Computing Science and Music


Year of study:


Music, in particular Mozart’s K448 Sonata For Two Pianos, has been said to have a potential to alleviate epilepsy, hence it has potential as a non-pharmacological intervention or therapy. This effect is termed the “Mozart effect”: listening to Mozart’s K448 was associated with a reduction in epileptic activity on the electroencephalograms of epileptic patients. Thus far, no literature was found summarising and analysing the relevant literature in this topic, exploring the different characteristics that could affect the effectiveness of music therapy in alleviating epilepsy. This literature review therefore aimed to consolidate and discuss the literature surrounding this issue. The literature review was conducted using six databases: DOAJ, Google Scholar, JSTOR, PubMed, ScienceDirect and Scopus. Key terms “Mozart”, “Music”, “Epilepsy”, “Seizure” and “Epileptic” were included in the search strategy, and relevant articles were shortlisted based on the title and abstract. 22,410 articles were found in total. Only English articles found in the six databases were shortlisted for this review. 13 articles were shortlisted for final review. The 13 shortlisted articles were classified to discuss one or more of the following topics: Investigating the effectiveness of music in reducing the occurrence of epilepsy for peoples of different age groups, effectiveness of music in reducing the occurrence of different types of epilepsy and seizures, effectiveness of different types of music in reducing the occurrence of epilepsy, and theories behind K448 as a potential treatment for epilepsy. In conclusion, all the studies showed that Mozart’s K448 music seems to be a potentially effective and affordable option of an alternative or additional therapy for epileptic patients that causes little to no harm.

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