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Tia DeNora. 2013. Music Asylums: Wellbeing Through Music in Everyday Life

Still, Jonathan

The idea that music has mystical powers—to heal, to soothe, to cause depravity, to promote political unrest or intelligence—has a long history that persists to the present day. Yet even scientific research into music and health often focuses on effects rather than causes, leaving vital questions unanswered. By contrast, Music Asylums, part of Ashgate’s Music and Change: Ecological Perspectives series, sets out to explore “how, where and when music makes a difference.” It is the first volume in a triptych devised by Tia DeNora and Gary Andsell, based on their six-year study of community music therapy in a center for mental health in England. The focal point of the three-part work is the recently published co-authored volume Musical Pathways for Recovery (Ansdell and DeNora 2016), with DeNora’s Music Asylums and Andsell’s (2014) How Music Helps envisaged as side panels that support and reflect on the topic from the authors’ respective specializations of music sociology and music therapy. Music Asylums is roughly divided into two halves, the first providing a general ecological account of “how illness, health, the body, mind, culture and agency are intertwined” (6), the second developing and illustrating these ideas with reference to specific contexts where music is a significant factor in producing and maintaining wellbeing.

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Current Musicology

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Music
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October 23, 2018
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