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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The creative and subjective aspects of music therapy make the discipline unique, but also pose challenges when researching and explicating its essence. There is a demand for research methodologies that are responsive to the indigenous elements of the music therapy process, and that accommodate the participant’s subjective, conscious experience of music therapy phenomena. Phenomenological research captures the subjective experience of phenomena, which renders it a particularly desirable methodology for music therapists. This chapter examines the philosophical foundations of phenomenological research, and distinguishes between descriptive and hermeneutic phenomenological methodologies. The phenomenological music therapy research literature is examined in depth, from the formative contributions of early seminal works to recent developments including applications of neurophenomenology, arts-based approaches, and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Keywords: research, music therapy, phenomenology, descriptive phenomenology, hermeneutic phenomenology, methodology, research design, constructionism

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