Introduction: Confluence of Consciousness in Music, Medicine, and Culture

Benjamin D. Koen, Gregory Barz and Kenneth Brummel-Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756261
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
Introduction: Confluence of Consciousness in Music, Medicine, and Culture


A new milieu of consciousness is emerging among researchers and practitioners across disciplines in music, the health sciences, and integrative, complementary, and alternative medicine, the physical and social sciences, medical humanities, and the healing arts. One of the most recent expressions of this consciousness is the burgeoning area of medical ethnomusicology, a new field of integrative research and applied practice that explores holistically the roles of music and sound phenomena and related praxes in any cultural and clinical context of health and healing. This article adds to the growing realization that there are multiple ways not only of understanding the intersections between music, medicine, and culture but also of understanding what music and medicine are, what they are not, and how musical meaning and power can effect health and healing in varying degrees from person to person, from remedy to remedy, and from performance to performance.

Keywords: consciousness; health sciences; social sciences; medical humanities; medical ethnomusicology

Article.  6605 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Ethnomusicology

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