Body-based schemata in receptive music therapy
Aksnes, H. & Ruud, E. (2008). Body-based schemata in receptive music therapy. Musicae Scientiae 12(1), 49-74.
In the receptive music-therapeutical method BMGIM (The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music) the client listens to a specifically selected program of classical music in a deeply relaxed state, whilst reporting his/her concomitant musical imagery to the music therapist. The imagery (or travel) reported by the client (traveler) serves as point of departure for the therapeutic process, as mediated by the therapist (guide). The purpose of this study is to investigate possible relations between structural features of the musical selections, and the imagery that may arise during a BMGIM session. It was assumed that such an investigation might also contribute to our general understanding of musical meaning more precisely, how meaning is produced through our interaction with specific musical structures. Furthermore, if it is possible to trace any relations between structural features and concomitant images, a deeper understanding of these relations might also be helpful in the programming (selection) of musical pieces for the BMGIM session. In the research project to which we refer in this article, a new program, Soundscapes, was designed. The program has several aims: Firstly, we wished to create a BMGIM program based upon more local traditions within the European classical canon; in this case, Norwegian music with a distinctly "national" flavor (see Aksnes and Ruud, 2006). Secondly, we wished to investigate whether it was possible to demonstrate a link between musical structures and the musical images resulting from the embodied perceptions of these structures. Here we will focus upon the first piece of the program, which was analyzed in cognitive semantic terms, the analysis being subsequently compared with the transcriptions of nine BMGIM sessions. In the analysis the well-balanced and "floating" character of the music was understood in terms of amodal, body-based schemata that are operative within music cognition. In the subsequent comparison with the reported travels, it was concluded that the schemata evoked by the music afforded a sensation of being held and carried by the music. ...