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October 11 , 2009

Music, Health, and Wellbeing


The great saxophonist Charlie Parker once proclaimed "if you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn". This quote has often been used to explain the hedonistic lifestyle of many jazz greats; however, but it also signals the reciprocal and inextricable relationship between music and wider social, cultural and psychological variables. This link is complex and multifaceted and is undoubtedly a central component of why music has been implicated as a therapeutic agent in vast swathes of contemporary research studies. Music is always about more than just acoustic events or notes on a page. Music has a universal and timeless potential to influence how we feel. Yet, only recently, have researchers begun to explore and understand the positive effects that music can have on our wellbeing - across a range of cultures and musical genres. This book brings together research from music psychology, therapy, public health, and medicine, to explore the relationship between music, health and wellbeing. It presents a range of chapters from internationally recognised experts, resulting in a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and pluralistic account of recent advances and applications in both clinical and non-clinical practice and research. Some of the questions explored include: what is the nature of the scientific evidence to support the relationship between music, health and wellbeing? What are the current views from different disciplines on empirical observations and methodological issues concerning the effects of musical interventions on health-related processes? What are the mechanisms which drive these effects and how can they be utilised for building robust theoretical frameworks for future work? For the first time, research from disciplines including neuroscience of music, music therapy, psychophysiology and epidemiology of music, community music and music education is synthesised and presented together to further our understanding of music and health in one single volume, ensuring that closely related strands of research in different disciplines are brought together into a authoritative, comprehensive and robust collection of chapters. This book is a timely and unique response to an explosion of interest in the relationship between music, health, and wellbeing and will be invaluable resources for students, administrators and researchers in the humanities, social and medical sciences alike.
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