Music Asylums: Wellbeing Through Music in Everyday Life
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Taking a cue from Erving Goffman’s classic work, Asylums, Tia DeNora develops a novel interdisciplinary framework for music, health and wellbeing. Considering health and illness both in medical contexts and in the often-overlooked realm of everyday life, DeNora argues that these identities are by no means mutually exclusive. Moreover, she suggests that the promotion of health and more specifically, mental health, involves a great deal more than a concern with medication, genetic predispositions, clinical and neuro-scientific procedures. Adopting a holistic, interactionist focus, Music Asylums reconnects states of wellness and wellbeing to encounters with others and - critically - to opportunities for aesthetic experience. Building on DeNora's earlier work on music as a technology of self in everyday life, the book presents music as an active ingredient of action, identity, capacity and consciousness. From there, it suggests that access to, and evaluation of, music is an important ethical matter. Intended for scholars and practitioners in psychiatry and psychology, palliative care, socio-music studies, music psychology and the allied health professions, Music Asylums showcases music's role in the existential project of being and staying well, mentally and physically, from moment-to-moment and across all realms of social life.
’This is a beautifully written and important text. I enjoyed reading it immensely and will be recommending it to my students and colleagues. The examples are fascinating and resonate strongly with current health agendas that seek to complement conventional medical interventions with new innovative approaches that challenge existing hegemonies. There is no doubt that music has vast potential to produce significant benefits and this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between music, health and wellbeing. It offers a wealth of new insights and is both accessible and meticulously thought out. I loved it!’ Raymond MacDonald, University of Edinburgh, UK ’Music and its effect upon health is a vitally important topic in medicine. Music has the power not only to change the way we think about patient care in hospitals but also how we think about health in general. In this pioneering book Tia De Nora shows the importance of avoiding reductionistic thinking in understanding both health and music. Her new interdisciplinary synthesis opens up this field to further thinking and research.’ Trevor Pinch, Cornell University, USA ’... i lettori ideali di Music Asylums non sarebbero solo i professionisti della musicoterapia, ma i ricercatori e intellettuali, di qualsiasi scienza sociale o umanistica, interessati alla musica.’ [’... Music Asylums should ideally be read not only by professional music therapists, but also by any researchers and scholars, in both the social sciences and humanities, that have an interest in music.’] Musica/RealtÃ ’A great virtue of Music Asylums is the way it manages to take on board important insights from the neuroscience of music and incorporate them into a view of music as a social experience involving agency and culture as well as sound stimulation. ... While it is sympathetic to neuroscience, DeNora’s book is also a healthy antidote to a simplistic view of music as stimulation. As such it i
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