Verticality and containment in song and improvisation: An application of schema theory to nordoff-robbins music therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study illustrates the use of a new musicological method for analyzing music in music therapy. It examines two pieces of clinical music through the constructs of schema theory. It begins with an argument for enhanced musical analysis in music therapy as a means of elevating the status of explanation in music therapy. Schema theory is introduced as a means of integrating musical with clinical concerns. Some basic ideas in schema theory are explained and the schemas of VERTICAUTY and CONTAINER are presented as central ones in the analysis of music. Two transcriptions one of a composed song and one of an improvisationare examined in detail to illustrate how decisions in the temporal, melodic, and harmonic dimensions of the music are linked to specific clinical goals. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this type of musicological analysis for explanatory theory in music therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-267
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Volume46
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009

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Music Therapy
Music
Containment
Song
Schema Theory
Improvisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy

Cite this

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abstract = "This study illustrates the use of a new musicological method for analyzing music in music therapy. It examines two pieces of clinical music through the constructs of schema theory. It begins with an argument for enhanced musical analysis in music therapy as a means of elevating the status of explanation in music therapy. Schema theory is introduced as a means of integrating musical with clinical concerns. Some basic ideas in schema theory are explained and the schemas of VERTICAUTY and CONTAINER are presented as central ones in the analysis of music. Two transcriptions one of a composed song and one of an improvisationare examined in detail to illustrate how decisions in the temporal, melodic, and harmonic dimensions of the music are linked to specific clinical goals. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this type of musicological analysis for explanatory theory in music therapy.",
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