Music in Action: Tinkering, Testing, and Tracing Over Time
In this article we draw on a recent, six-year ethnographic study of community music therapy and mental health to highlight strategies and techniques for documenting music’s role in processes of change. We place these strategies in dialogue with the ethnographic work on arts and crafts by Paul Atkinson. In tandem with Atkinson, we propose a ‘slow’ approach focused on micro-processes of musical/para-musical bricolage whereby things are made and transformed over time. A three-cornered strategy in support of this approach is described: (1) a focus on musical-practical tinkering, (2) a focus on the modification and contention or testing of idiocultural musical space and, (3) two specific techniques for tracing music-related change, the music therapy ‘index’ and the ‘musical event’ schema.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE Publications via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 17, Iss. 2, pp. 231-245