The Routledge Companion to Music, Mind, and Wellbeing

1st Edition

Penelope Gouk, James Kennaway, Jacomien Prins, Wiebke Thormahlen

December 19, 2018 Forthcoming
Reference - 376 Pages - 19 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138057760 - CAT# Y331383
Series: Routledge Music Companions

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In recent decades, the relationship between music, emotions, health and well-being has become a hot topic.

Scientific research and new neuro-imaging technologies have provided extraordinary new insights into how

music affects our brains and bodies, and researchers in fields ranging from psychology and music therapy to

history and sociology have turned their attention to the question of how music relates to mind, body,

feelings and health, generating a wealth of insights as well as new challenges. Yet this work is often divided

by discipline and methodology, resulting in parallel, yet separate discourses.

In this context, The Routledge Companion to Music, Mind and Well-being seeks to foster truly interdisciplinary

approaches to key questions about the nature of musical experience and to demonstrate the importance of

the conceptual and ideological frameworks underlying research in this field. Incorporating perspectives from

musicology, history, psychology, neuroscience, music education, philosophy, sociology, linguistics and

music therapy, this volume opens the way for a generative dialogue across both scientific and humanistic


The Companion is divided into two sections. The chapters in the first, historical section consider the

varied ways in which music, the emotions, well-being and their interactions have been understood in the

past, from Antiquity to the twentieth century, shedding light on the intellectual origins of debates that

continue today. The chapters in the second, contemporary section offer a variety of current scientific

perspectives on these topics and engage wider philosophical problems. The Companion ends with chapters

that explore the practical application of music in healthcare, education and welfare, drawing on work on

music as a social and ecological phenomenon.

Contextualising contemporary scientific research on music within the history of ideas, this volume

provides a unique overview of what it means to study music in relation to the mind and well-being.

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