Musical Coupling: Social and Physical Healing in Three Disabled Patients

32 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2010

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

Some important aspects of physiological function can be conceptualized as a system of coupled oscillators. In a similar fashion, coupled oscillation can be used to understand musical interaction between individuals. The looping circuitry of individual nervous systems can be thought of as a bank of oscillators while musical sound provides the coupling function linking individuals together in a very satisfying form of social interaction. By providing severely disabled patients with simple piezoelectric triggers they can play electronic musical instruments well enough to join together in making music that is satisfying to them and to others as well. This article discusses three such patients and suggests avenues for future research.

Keywords: music, coupling, therapy, communication, electronic instruments

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L. and Ramsey, David W., Musical Coupling: Social and Physical Healing in Three Disabled Patients (2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1573747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1573747

David W. Ramsey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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