Medical Ethnomusicology is a new field of integrative and holistic research and applied practice that approaches music, health, and healing anew, engaging the biological, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual domains of human life that frame and inform our experiences of health and healing, illness and disease, life and death. The power of music to create health and healing at the individual, community, and societal levels is not only linked to these domains of human life, but is intimately interwoven with the ever present and multifaceted frame of culture, which is often where meaning lies, and is a key factor that creates or inhibits efficacy. The Oxford Handbook of Medical Ethnomusicology appeals to all those interested in music, medicine, and culture, and represents a new stage of collaborative discourse among researchers and practitioners who embrace and incorporate knowledge from a diversity of fields.
Importantly, such knowledge, by definition, spans the globe of traditional cultural practices of music, spirituality, and medicine, including biomedical, integrative, complementary, and alternative models; is rooted in new physics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, cognitive science, linguistics, medical anthropology, and of course, music, dance, and all the healing arts. The book is more than the first collected volume to establish the discipline of medical ethnomusicology and express its broad potential; it is also an expression of a wider paradigm shift of innovative thinking and collaboration that fully embraces both the health sciences and the healing arts. The authors encourage the development of this new paradigm through an openness to and engagement of knowledge from diverse research areas and domains of human life conventionally viewed as disparate, yet laden with potential benefits for an improved or vibrant quality of life, prevention of illness and disease, even cure and healing.