Developing a Model for Clinical Song Analysis, or Why Music Therapists Still Need Music Theory and Musicology
Music therapists use songs in a variety of different ways within sessions, from song discussion to instrumental re-creation to song transformation. Yet in the music therapy literature there is little to no research about the role of song analysis prior to using a piece in a session. There is research about analysis of lyrics written by clients in individual and group music therapy, and there is research about lyric analysis interventions and techniques used within sessions. However, these focus on in-the-moment or post-session analysis rather than song analysis as a way for the therapist to prepare for a session. This thesis will fill this hole in the music therapy literature. It is interdisciplinary in nature, as it examines methods of analysis found in music theory and musicology and applies them to music therapy work. There are three main sections of this thesis, each of which includes a literature review. The first focuses on establishing a common language of analysis for music therapists—that is, identifying categories of musical features that music therapists can make note of when they first listen to a song. The second section concentrates on persona theory, which comes from music theory. The last is centered on music and disability studies, which examines ideas from disability studies through the lens of musicology. Each section also contains a song analysis using the concepts explored in the literature review. Throughout the literature reviews and song analyses, I discuss how an understanding of the theories can benefit music therapists. I conclusion by proposing pedagogical and research implications of this thesis.
Samuel Noah Dorf
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Developing a Model for Clinical Song Analysis, or Why Music Therapists Still Need Music Theory and Musicology" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1466.