Chapter

Embodied Musical Communication Across Cultures: Singing and Dancing for Quality of Life and Wellbeing Benefit

Jane Davidson and Andrea Emberly

in Music, Health, and Wellbeing

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586974
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586974.003.0011
Embodied Musical Communication Across Cultures: Singing and Dancing for Quality of Life and Wellbeing Benefit

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This chapter aims to interrogate the nature and role of the musical arts of singing and dancing in culture to explore the impact on both the quality of life and wellbeing. The chapter is divided into three primary sections, beginning with a discussion of music and its embodied communicative function, with evidence from infancy and early childhood research. The second section considers how musical arts are experienced in Western contexts, especially in terms of their contemporary use. The final section introduces the musical culture of the Venda of South Africa, showing how musicality is defined there in a culturally-specific manner. Through current research and the historical work of John Blacking, the final section explores how musicality is constructed within and beyond communities. The cross-cultural analysis allows for the examination of distinct notions of embodied musical communication whilst building on developments that support the idea of musicality and its role in enhancing quality of life and feelings of wellbeing.

Keywords: musical arts; cultural practice; Venda; musicality; musical commnication; quality of life

Chapter.  8073 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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