Music has many functions: It can entertain, stimulate, irritate and elicit memories. It helps define who we are and when we were young. We celebrate and worship with music. If asked, most people easily could list a half-dozen reasons why music is key to their lives.

Tops on this list for Islene Runningdeer, the author of the new book, “The Musician Healer,” is music can help heal a troubled soul and comfort a dying patient.

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