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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article offers a fourfold framework for engaging in research on music and medicine. The four axes of this framework are the musical, sociocultural, performative, and biomedical. These axes overlap and interpenetrate in ways that render both musical healing and the investigation of it possible. The research questions given in this article include two salient areas of inquiry. The first presents an argument on whether music (along with the movement, odor, color, shape, and other dramatic-sensory textures used in conjunction with sounds) is able to effect a transformation from illness toward health. The second one argues how this transformation is experienced, evaluated, and accomplished in indigenous, ethnographic, and biomedical terms. To further investigate the dynamics of musical healing, this article turns to a musical-ethnographic example drawn from the Temiars of peninsular Malaysia, who receive songs from spirits during dreams and sing them to effect healing.

Keywords: Temiars, medicine, musical healing, biomedical terms, dramatic-sensory textures

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