Volume 1 (2) 2009 – Article
Graphic Notation in Music Therapy: A Discussion of What to Notate in Graphic Notation and How
This article presents graphic notations of music and related forms of communication in music therapy contexts, created by different authors and practitioners. Their purposes, objects of description, and the elements of graphic language are reflected upon in a comparative discussion. From that it becomes clear that the aspect of overview is a fundamental one, facilitating perception of complex data. This also makes possible to memorise complex data, extending the natural limits of human memory. Discovering hidden aspects in the clinical data, as well as sharing and communicating these aspects are also important concerns. Among the authors discussed, there is a large variety both in goals and methods. Keywords are proposed to circumscribe moments of possible interest connected to graphic notations. I suggest that the discipline of graphic notation can be useful for the grounding of music therapy presentation and research in empirical, clinical-musical reality, and welcome further discussion and explorative work.
Keywords: graphic notation, musical analysis, music analysis, microanalysis, improvisation
Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen (born 1951) is a Danish music therapist, as well as improviser and composer. He became Cand. Phil. in musicology from Copenhagen University (1984) and took training lessons in music therapy with Benedikte Scheiby. From 1983 he has been an assistant teacher at the Music Therapy education at Aalborg University and from 1984 he has practised music therapy in Copenhagen with adult mentally retarded clients.