Term Paper: Music Therapy the Development of Biology

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Music Therapy

The development of biology and the sciences in general have lead to the slow realization that all humans are fundamentally similar; however, the concurrent progression of psychology and genetics have, in the last century or so, begun to plumb the depths of the differences between human beings.

Practice always trails science, and so it is not surprising that current conventions of therapy are largely procedure-driven, with little or no attention given to the individual. As science repeatedly emphasizes the great variety of minds and bodies, a similarly great variety of new techniques, such as equine-assisted therapy and music-assisted therapy, are in the beginning stages of development.

Because music is so universally appreciated and loved, it is among the fastest-growing tailored therapy technique. Music is well-suited as a therapy technique because it translates something difficult to understand -- human thought -- into a form that humans have been analyzing and interpreting for thousands of years -- music. Differences in pitch, dynamics, and tonality can express differences in emotion and levels of tension.

These differences may be compared using three excerpts from a music-therapy session under the direction of Alan Turry. The three samples, which can be obtained at www.AlanTurry.com, are those entitled "Broken Pieces," "Scared and Paralyzed," and "Oh My Child."

Broken Pieces" begins disconnected monosyllables: the singer repeating the word "no." Accompanied by broken and dissonant chords and arpeggios on the piano, this melancholy rebellion expresses anger felt in conjunction with complete hopelessness. Such a complex emotion would be extremely difficult to convey in words.

At approximately two minutes, descending chromatic scales crescendo beneath damsel-in-distress screams, signifying life crashing down entirely out of the singer's control. It is clear that, even before analyzing lyrics and applying modern linguistic analysis tools, music can easily express even complex emotions with stunning accuracy.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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