Concepts of context in music therapy
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In contemporary music therapy as well as in related interdisciplinary fields, the importance of context in relation to theory, research, and practice has been emphasized. However, the word context seems to be used in several different ways and conceptualizations of contextual approaches vary too. The objective of this theoretical article is to clarify traditions of language use in relation to context in music therapy. In reviewing and discussing the literature, we focus on the field of mental health care. When discussing issues related to context, this literature partly focuses on the surroundings of music therapy practice, partly on the ecology of reciprocal influences within and between situations or systems. On this basis, three types of context awareness in music therapy are identified: music therapy in context; music therapy as context; and music therapy as interacting contexts. The identified types of context awareness are exemplified through references to music therapy literature and then discussed in relation to two very different metaphors, namely context as frame and context as link. Implications for practice, research, and theory development in music therapy are suggested.
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
CopyrightCopyright 2013 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
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