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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4578
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1958-2009
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.35 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Society for Music Therapy and Remedial Music x British Society for Music Therapy


Administrative/Biographical history:

The British Society for Music Therapy was founded in 1958 by Juliette Alvin and her colleagues as The Society for Music Therapy and Remedial Music. Its aim was to promote the use and development of music therapy. It changed its name to The British Society for Music Therapy in 1967. The Society was a Registered Charity, Number 260837.

The British Society for Music Therapy supported the work of early music therapists and researchers, and helped the developing profession gain respect and status. The Society acted as an advisory body and disseminated information on services, training, bibliography and research. One of the ways it did this was through its regular journal, The British Journal of Music Therapy.

The Society was run by a Chairperson, Executive Committee and the office administration team (The Administration Officer of the Society acted as Secretary). The Executive Committee organised the everyday business of the Society, and planned its future direction. The Executive Committee was supported by an Advisory Council, which provided advice and expertise as required.

Further committees were set up to deal with other events and different circumstance. One of the most notable events was the 10th World Congress of Music Therapy. This event was planned by an Organising Committee and International Scientific Committee, and was held in Oxford from the 23rd-28th July 2002 with over 800 therapists attending. The journal was overseen by a separate management board.

The majority of the members were based in the United Kingdom, and in 2000 all members of the Association of Music Therapists automatically became members of the British Society for Music Therapy. However by 2010 there were also around 800 international members, including musicians, teachers and medical workers.

In April 2011 The Society amalgamated with The Association of Professional Music Therapists to become The British Association of Music Therapists, Registered Charity number 1137807 and Company No. 07301585. This new organisation will continue the work of The British Society of Music Therapists.

Source of information: accessed May 2011.


Scope and content/abstract:

The focus of much of this collection is the academic work published by the British Music Therapy Society, chiefly the scholarly work delivered at Society conferences and published in the Society newsletter, later journal. This work mainly consists of research into possible uses of music in various therapeutic contexts with a variety of different potential patients. Research is mainly of a practical or observational nature, usually consisting of case studies of individuals or groups, though there is some research into the philosophical under-pinnings of music therapy. One of the main committees of the organisation was the Management Board of the Society Journal (LMA/4578/01/02), which deals with the content and editorial direction of the journal.

Other records deal with the administration and decision making of the Society in the form of minutes of the executive committee, which ran the Society, and the minutes of other committees that were formed as required. One of these committees, the Fund Raising Sub-committee, later the Juliette Alvin Music Therapy Fund Sub- committee (LMA/4578/01/03/002), established the Juliette Alvin Trust to provide support for trainee music therapists.

The Administrative Officer files deal with much of the day to day running of the Society, including correspondence records and files that deal with its charitable status.

The collection also includes records of the internal and external communication of the Society (including newsletters for members, and information booklets and press articles to boost their profile).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Records deposited in May 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Guildhall School of Music and Drama (CLA/05/06).

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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