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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Coinciding with the extraordinary demographic transition that has made ageing a global and highly relevant political issue, there has been increasing interest in the power of music in the lives of older people. New initiatives have been developed and researchers have investigated the relationship between music and positive ageing from a number of perspectives. In this chapter, a framework for positive ageing, comprising the dimensions of purpose, autonomy, and social affirmation, underpins my critical discussion of the role that facilitated music-making can take in mitigating the challenges of ageing. Drawing upon international evidence, I argue that active engagement in participatory music in community offers a context for creative expression and lifelong musical development, supporting cognitive, social, and emotional well-being in older age. However, commitment to positive ageing requires that participation must be inclusive of community members who are frail and in need of care. I conclude with a discussion of further ways in which community musicians could enrich the contexts that older people inhabit.

Keywords: positive ageing, participatory music, community, well-being, inclusion, creative

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