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Welcome to JMM11!

With Rolling Publication

JMM: The Journal of Music and Meaning publishes articles as they become ready for publication. In this blog you can follow the development of the 11th issue of JMM.

Meaning, Dreaming, Relating and Levels of Consciousness in Music Psychotherapy: a Psychoanalytic, Developmental and Transpersonal Paradigm

Peer-Reviewed Papers Posted on Jun 03, 2013 13:42:36

In this article the author explores the creation, experience and meaning of music from a number of different perspectives. Although his principal aim is to contribute to the development of theory and practice in music psychotherapy, the author proposes that the thinking he presents also potentially has a wider application beyond the therapeutic sphere. That is in developing our understanding of how music is experienced to be meaningful because of the way it functions psychologically.

The author presents a framework of levels of consciousness, suggesting that music can be understood to be therapeutically meaningful in many different ways at each level of consciousness whilst ultimately it is transcendent of meaning all together. In his exploration of this, the author draws especially on contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives that can be used to understand the role of dream level processes in making everyday experience manageable as well as meaningful at an emotional level. This is dreaming understood to be an unconscious activity of the mind occurring day and night, dream level processes being involved in both creating and experiencing music. It is as a result of these that music can potentially generate experiences of Truth that are not only meaningful at a personal level but psychologically resonant ultimately at a transpersonal level of consciousness beyond knowing. Such experiential Truth from a contemporary psychoanalytic perspective provides the psyche’s most essential type of nurturance. The author considers this to be fundamental to music’s potential as a psychotherapeutic medium.

The author is particularly concerned in the article with intersubjectivity. That is with the dynamics of relationship between client and therapist when they create (dream) music together in improvisation based music psychotherapy. In this the experience is of being both ‘one’ and ‘separate’ as is characteristic of the nature of relationship at the level of dream consciousness. Two different levels or aspects of intersubjectivity are explored drawing on developmental psychology as well as psychoanalysis. The author proposes that health involves being able to maintain the inevitable tension between being ‘one’ and ‘separate’ and draws out the therapeutic implications of this. Finally brief reference is made to the ‘oneness’ of transpersonal music experiences whether in active or receptive forms of music psychotherapy.

The author, Martin Lawes is trained as a music therapist in the UK and specializes in work with children and young people with autism and other special needs. He is also trained in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, using this modality in his work with clients in a specialist palliative care setting. He has presented and published both nationally and internationally on many occasions and is involved in music therapy training.

Read Martin Lawes’ article here.

The Use and Application of Proverbs in Basotho Accordion Music

Peer-Reviewed Papers Posted on Jun 03, 2013 13:16:30

This paper examines Basotho accordion music as a dynamic form of entertainment that promotes oral tradition among the Basotho. It briefly discusses the history of Lesotho and Basotho, offers an overview of Basotho music in general, some background regarding local accordion music tradition, and some notes on theoretical framework and methodology before moving to analysis of proverbs in Basotho songs. The paper argues that the use of proverbs among Basotho is still common at present to such an extent that they are even employed in the Basotho accordion music. The analysis deals with songs by different artists who have liberally spiced their songs with proverbs. Careful listening to this music reveals that there is much to be learned from sung proverbs regarding oral literature: customs, beliefs, language and other aspects. Through the proverbial flavoring in this music, Basotho traditional wisdom, spiritual heritage, culture, morality, collective experience and general well-being of the nation are easily transmitted. The employment of proverbs in this music can be an indication that oral literature like in other African societies is so central to contemporary Basotho culture.

About the authors:

Dr. Lehlohonolo Samuel Phafoli is currently a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Lesotho in the Department of African Languages and Literature. He holds a B.A. ED degree in English and African Languages from the National University of Lesotho, B.A. Honours and Masters of Arts in African Languages and Literature from the Witwatersrand University and Ph.D in African Languages and Literature from the Free State University in the Republic South Africa. He has read several papers in different conferences about Basotho accordion music, and currently has five publications about Basotho accordion music.

Dr. Piniel Viriri Shava is currently a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Lesotho in the Department of English Literature. He holds a B.A. in English Literature, History and Philosophy from the National University of Lesotho, M.A. in English Literature from the Carlton University and Ph.D in English Literature from the Universitatis Dalhousiance in Canada. He has publications mostly in the field of Literature. This article is the second one on Basotho accordion music that he has co-authored with Dr. Lehlohonolo Phafoli.

Read Lehlohonolo Phafoli and Viriri Shava’s article here.