In defense of beauty: A role for the aesthetic in music therapy theory part I: The development of aesthetic theory in music therapy

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Abstract

The role of aesthetic considerations in music therapy theory has an interesting history. Its examination sheds some light on fundamental areas of tension in music therapy as a health–promoting discipline that takes place through an art form. This first part of a two–part article examines the origins of thinking on this topic (Gaston, 1964; 1968) and provides a brief overview of its development from a variety of perspectives (Kenny 2006; Salas, 1990; Aigen, 1995; Summer, 1992; Lee, 2003). The use of aesthetic theory is placed within the context of philosophical thinking on the nature of aesthetic experience in general. In a second part of the article, critiques of aesthetic thinking will be presented and responded to. The author's stance is that aesthetic experience can be a highly relevant aspect of music therapy practice in certain applications, a belief that rests on the more fundamental notion that musical experiences in clinical contexts can be continuous with nonclinical musical experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-128
Number of pages17
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Keywords

  • Aesthetics
  • Beauty
  • Music therapy theory
  • Phihsophical inquiry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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