Social interaction in jazz: implications for music therapy

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This article explores the literature on how jazz musicians relate to one another while playing music and develops the implications of these findings for clinical music therapy practice. The premise of the article is that jazz and music therapy share a number of foundational principles that warrants the transfer of ideas between the two domains, although the present article focuses on how ideas generated from the former area of study can be applied to the latter. Parallels are noted between the challenges faced by jazz musicians-including soloists, accompanists, and bandleaders-and those faced by therapists and clients in the music therapy setting. Patterns of interaction, functions of particular instruments, and structures of the music in jazz are explored, and their implications for music therapy practice are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-209
Number of pages30
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • improvisation
  • jazz
  • music therapy
  • social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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