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Re: Musical abilities are among the last to be lost in cases of brain damage?
Robert, melodic therapies as well as melodic assessments (excluding for fluency
problems) are based not on performance musical abilities but on the fact that it
has been found that both those with stroke induced aphasia as well as those with
tbi who are still motorically functional, at least to some degre, are very often
able to produce some language and imitative behaviors if a melody of any kind is
used even when language is otherwise totally gone such as in global aphasia.
For obvious reasons you can't normally seriously intend that your clinical
clients sing their way through life but for some that is essentially what ends
up happening. These cases are not just looking at some form of musical ability
but some connection between right and left hemisphere. I have not seen much of
this kind of reference in split brain research but the above is the basis for
melodic therapy. I would suggest reading some authors such as Schuel, Jacobson,
Eisenson, or any of the other major names in aphasia work from the '60s through
the mid '80s for more on this as well as look at some of the references in some
of the melodic therapy tests and therapy kits.
Tom Brennan KD5VIJ, CCC-A/SLP
web page http://titan.sfasu.edu/~g_brennantg/sonicpage.html