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date: 19 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Music therapists endeavour to understand music’s significance for people who are mourning unfulfilled hopes and a life once lived; who are trying to deal with uncertainty, altered identities, saying farewells, or impending death. Through music-based interventions in therapeutic relationships, music therapists extend the opportunities for music to enable and express mourning which can be congruent with helpful emotional release and coping. Participants are assisted to find comfort and fellowship through identifications with lyrics and sonorities, and the improved expressive capacity offered in music. Expanded awareness and renewed identities can occur through music-based counseling, imagery, improvisation, and song writing. Decedents’ legacies from music therapy may help their mourners to continue and rework bonds with them in bereavement. Such legacies include song recordings, and visual, kinesthetic, and sound memories of shared music therapy sessions.

Keywords: mourning, music therapy, palliative care, continuing bonds, grief and bereavement

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