Monday, October 6, 2014

The Origins of Music, Health, & Wellbeing

"The great saxophonist Charlie Parker once proclaimed "if you don't live it, it wont come out your horn". This quote has often been used to explain the hedonistic lifestyle of many jazz greats; however it also signals the reciprocal & inextricable relationship between music and wider social, cultural, & psychological variables. This link is complex & multifaceted & is undoubtebly 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.  Moreover, music's universal, & timeless potential to influence how we think, & feel, lies at the heart of our motivation to produce this edited volume.
   Music has been imbued with curative, therapeutic, and other medical value throughout history. Musicians, therapists, philosophers, as well as other artists, and scholars & scholars alike  have documented its physical, mental & social effects, in treatises from as early as 4000 BC to the present (Spintge & Droh 1992). Clearly the relationship between music, health & well-being is complex & involves numerous facets & challenges. To begin with, there is considerable debate on all three of the terms in this volume. Leaving aside  the intracacies, of etymology & translations into various languages, one significant challenge is the establishment of causal links between musical activities on the one hand, & specific individual, health & wellbeing benefits on the other. This book is conceived to accept this challenge by means of building evidence-bases in different areas of music & health research & we hope that this collection of chapters will further our understanding of music as a part of both human nature, & human culture"

& so begins the book that I have just received, and am reading avidly