to the world of music archive

the world of music 39, 1997-1

Music and Healing in Transcultural Perspectives

Content:

 

Articles

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto 
The Healing Process as Musical Drama: Remarks on the ebó Ceremony in Bahian candomblé (Brazil) 

Laura Larco
Encounters with the huacas:  Ritual Dialogue, Music and Healing in Northern Peru

Pat Moffitt Cook
Sacred Music Therapy in North India 

Takefusa Sasamori
Therapeutic Rituals Performed by Itako (Japanese Blind Female Shamans) 

Mechtild Langenberg
On Understanding Music Therapy:  Free Musical Improvisation as a Method of Treatment

Dorit Amir
Understanding The Role of Folksongs in Jewish-Israeli Culture: Implications for Music Therapy 

 

Institutions

Hermann Härtel
The Styrian Volksliedwerk / Das Steirische Volksliedwerk 


Book Reviews

Max Peter Baumann
Report on Publications of the Styrian Volksliedwerk

Gudrun Helgert
Thomas Anton Kunz. Böhmische Nationalgesänge und Tänze/ Ceské národní zpevy a tance. 


CD Reviews

Linda Fujie
Series: Musica Sveciae/Folk Music in Sweden.


About the Authors

 

Abstracts

Healing Process as Musical Drama: The Ebó Ceremony in the Bahian Candomblé of Brazil
Tiago de Oliveira Pinto

Through music, words and ceremonial actions that communicate with a caboclo, or spiritiual being, the sick person is diagnosed and treated in the framework of the ebó ritual, a part of the African-Brazilian candomblé religion. The actions, texts and toques, or rhythmic patterns, work closely together to bring the person into a trance state and to directly address the causes of his illness. Family members and friends often play a role as well in the ceremony, which frequently treats children and younger people.

Encounters with the Huacas: Ritual Dialogue, Music and Healing in Northern Peru
Laura Larco

The mesa is a ritual performed in various communities on the northern coast of Peru. Its main goal is the physical and emotional healing of the patient. Periodic enactments of the ritual allow people to create and recreate their community, their identity and their links to the past. The meanings embedded in the mesa are articulated in performance, providing an important arena for understanding the way in which past and present meet, how illness is perceived, and how social conflicts within the community are negotiated and resolved.
 
Sacred Music Therapy in North India
Patricia Moffitt Cook

This article identifies and examines "sacred music therapy" among Hindu village healers in North India. Descriptions of Hindu village life and of two healers and their health care facilities are interwoven, followed by a description of a complete healing session. Each stage of the therapeutic process is described, analyzed within its cultural context, and then discussed in transcultural terms. In conclusion a comparison is made between "sacred music therapy" in North India and contemporary Western music-centered therapy, focusing on the disappearance of the sacred and spiritual aspects of healing in the latter. Hindu village healers who employ music, in addition to other traditional healers, warrant investigation before they disappear. This article is an attempt to stimulate further dialogue and research in North Indian traditional music therapy as well as other indigenous music healing traditions.

Therapeutic Rituals Performed by Itako (Japanese Blind Female Shamans)
Takefusa Sasamori

Though prohibited by the Japanese government for a period during the 19th century, shamanism is still praccticed today by itako, or blind female shamans, in the northeast of the main island of Honshu. Containing many elements from Buddhism and Shintoism, the rituals practiced by these shamans are applied for the purposes of exorcism, divination and faith healing. Chants, noises and musical instruments such as handbells, drums and tapped bows play a crucial role in these ceremonies
  
On Understanding Music Therapy: Free Musical Improvisation as a Method of Treatment
Mechtild Langenberg
 
In music therapy, the sound experience is understood as an archaic element beyond culture. The method of analytically oriented music therapy works with free improvisation in the creation of treatment in teamwork between therapist and patient. The process of therapy involves understanding these products and working out the problematic of the relationship. A qualitative method for describing and comprehending these interactive musical works was developed through the concept of "resonator function" (Resonanzkörperfunktion). This concept refers to the ability of all participants to perceive meaning that is affective and characteristic of relationships. To reconstruct motives, the treatment process will be presented in a case study, and the necessity for research on this kind of primary experience that results from action will be elucidated.
 
Understanding the Role of Folk Songs in Jewish-Israeli Culture: Implications for Music Therapy
Dorit Amir

Since the earliest times in history, different cultures throughout the world have used songs as a healing force. To understand the role of Israeli folk songs in music therapy, we need to examine Jewish cultural roots. In the Jewish culture, singing has always been the main means for connecting with the depths of the soul. In modern Hebrew culture, Israeli folk songs play a crucial role in creating a spiritual bond between the people and the country, thus strengthening national as well as self-identity. Shirei zikaron, or memorial songs, form a part of this song repertoire. These songs are broadcasted on Israeli radio  during the nation’s memorial days and when national tragedies occur, thus creating both a special atmosphere of sadness and a sense of national unity.
In my music therapy practice in Israel, singing has served as a special healing agent for my clients.In various treatments, clients who sing Israeli folk songs bring to the surface hidden feelings that relate to the history of the country and its constant struggle for survival. Expressing pain and processing it  through singing is often followed by a new feeling of inner freedom that strengthens the clients and allows them to make meaningful life decisions.

 

 

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