Special Issue 11 (1) 2019 “Exploring the spiritual in music: Interdisciplinary dialogues in music, wellbeing and education” – Article (first published on 24 November 2019)
The engine hums… occasionally it even sings: A response to Sara MacKian’s keynote ‘The constant hum of the engine…’
Lars Ole Bonde
Aalborg University, Denmark
In this response to Sarah MacKian’s conference keynote I take a personal experience as point of departure: my almost lifelong engagement with Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug. This leads to a discussion of the relationship between music and spirit, and how we as researchers can approach experiences with this relationship. A theoretical model of four levels of meaning in music opens up a number of ways to understand the affordances and appropriations of ‘deep’, ‘strong’ or ‘spiritual’ music experiences to clinical and non-clinical listeners. Examples from theory and empirical research in the receptive music therapy model Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) are used to illustrate a development from a more static-content-oriented approach to a more dynamic-process and interpersonal understanding of spiritual/transpersonal experiences with music.
spirituality, research, meaning in music, surrender, Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)
Lars Ole Bonde, PhD, is a musicologist, a certified music therapist (DMTF, FAMI), a clinical supervisor and primary trainer in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). He has worked as a teacher and researcher at Aalborg University since 1991; from 2012-2018 as ordinary professor. From 2008-2018 as professor II at the Center for Research in Music and Health (CREMAH), the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo. He has published several books and hundreds of peer-reviewed articles. During 1992-2017, he served as associate editor of the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. His musical autobiography was published in The Lives of Music Therapists: Volume Two (2017). [firstname.lastname@example.org]