History of IAMM

The International Association for Music & Medicine is a registered non-profit organisation formed in 2009 to encourage and support the use of music in medical contexts including research into the benefits of music, and its specialised applications in healthcare. Find out more about the history of IAMM here.


International Society for Music in Medicine (ISMM) is founded in 1982 by the anesthesiologists Roland Droh and Ralph Spintge.


Founding Members are identified in 2008 and agree to help develop the International Association for Music and Medicine


The inaugural meeting of IAMM takes place at the University of Limerick, Ireland in 2009.

Dr. Jane Edwards is appointed as the first president of the IAMM.

Founding Members join from around the globe and consist of doctors, nurses, music therapists and musicians, united around the shared goal of building a world community of music and medicine.


Music and Medicine journal is created. David Aldridge and Joanne Loewy are the original co-editors.

The goals for IAMM are stated in the first volume of Music and Medicine:

"Our intention is to provide a venue for the development of theory based on practice, and we will draw on specific research in music and medicine. We invite participation through dialogue about the impact that music has on the brain, for human physiology, and in developing unique clinical areas, such as sleep investigations and pain management. Topics such as these are being addressed today but are published diversely in other journals. This means that we have a scattered body of knowledge, which we hope to unify within these pages. Although the fields of medicine, nursing, music, and music therapy have developed several venues for sharing clinical activity and research trials, there is currently no distinct journal devoted to the fields that integrate medical music therapy, and music and medicine. These individual disciplines are growing internationally but each separate from the other. Our intention is to bring that knowledge together".

Loewy & Aldridge, p. 1, Volume, 1, Music and Medicine, 2009.


Ralph Spintge replaces David Aldridge as co-editor.

July 6, 2010

The 1st International Conference of the IAMM takes place at the Mozart & Science meeting in Vienna, Austria

July 3-6, 2012

The 2nd International Conference of Music & Medicine; “The Power of Music in Medicine and Health Care” takes place at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand

June 24, 2014

The 3rd International Conference of the IAMM takes place in Toronto, Canada

June 11, 2016

The 4th International Conference of the IAMM takes place in Beijing, China.

A new president is elected: Dr. Patravoot Vatanasapt.

June 7, 2018

The 5th International Conference of the IAMM takes place in Barcelona, Spain.


The 6th International Conference of the IAMM, originally planned to happen in Boston, USA, is adapted to happen online amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic.

A new president is elected: Dr. Suzanne Hanser.

Learn more about the history of IAMM

Joanne Loewy, Jane Edwards, Patravoot Vatanasapt, Concetta Tomaino, and Suzanne Hanser respond to the following questions about IAMM: