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Music is fundamental to human social life around the world, and there is a growing understanding that music can be an important influence on our health and wellbeing. Further research exploring this association can provide evidence of how patient and public wellbeing can benefit from enjoying and participating in music, and from its therapeutic application.

The Scottish Music and Health Network (SMHN) is a collaboration between Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian Universities, funded by the Carnegie Trust to facilitate high-impact research on links between music and health. As well as maintaining communication between researchers, practitioners and public through these webpages, SMHN programmes events in order to publicise and inspire new research in this field. SMHN’s objectives are:

  • To create active research infrastructure for Scottish researchers in the areas of music and/or health, focusing on collaborations across disciplines and institutes
  • To set up pathways for translation of music and health research into practical applications
  • To set up knowledge transfer channels between researchers, practitioners, patients and the general public
  • To establish and publish best-practice guidelines for the development of evidence-based music interventions to benefit health

Research for the Scottish Government  has shown that those participating in cultural activities report better health and satisfaction with life, and SMHN aims to build on existing research strengths to establish Scotand as a world leader in the emerging field of music and health.

On these pages you can find information about:

Music Health & Wellbeing

Developing interventions

Music & health research in Scotland

Funding music & health research


You can also read about breaking projects and ideas and sound out the opinions of other Network members:

SMHN Interchange


The first SMHN event will be a one-day seminar on Mapping the Future for Music and Health Research in Scotland, to be held on 23rd June in St Cecilia’s Hall, University of Edinburgh. This will include presentations and workshop discussion involving music researchers and practitioners, clinicians and patient group representatives. Further details will be added to the Events page as they are finalised. If you wish to regiser for this event, be informed about future events or post comments on discussion topics, please sign up to the Network above.

SMHN is led by Prof Raymond MacDonald and Dr Katie Overy (Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh), and Dr Don Knox, Dr Gianna Cassidy & Prof Frederike van Wijck (Glasgow Caledonian University).

The project was initiated by Dr Rebecca Schaefer (University of California, Santa Barbara).

The Network manager is Dr Graeme Wilson (Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh)