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- Publisher: Duke University Press
- Format: Hardback | 264 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 239mm x 25mm | 544g
- Publication date: 30 April 2006
- Publication City/Country: North Carolina
- ISBN 10: 0822337029
- ISBN 13: 9780822337027
- Sales rank: 936,784
While the first healers were musicians who relied on rhythm and song to help cure the sick, over time Western thinkers and doctors lost touch with these traditions. In the West, for almost two millennia, the roles of the healer and the musician have been strictly separated. Until recently, that is. Over the past few decades there has been a resurgence of interest in healing music. In the midst of this nascent revival, Ted Gioia, a musician, composer, and widely praised author, offers the first detailed exploration of the uses of music for curative purposes from ancient times to the present. Gioia's inquiry into the restorative powers of sound moves effortlessly from the history of shamanism to the role of Orpheus as a mythical figure linking Eastern and Western ideas about therapeutic music, and from Native American healing ceremonies to what clinical studies can reveal about the efficacy of contemporary methods of sonic healing. Gioia considers a broad range of therapies, providing a thoughtful, impartial guide to their histories and claims, their successes and failures. He examines a host of New Age practices, including toning, Cymatics, drumming circles, and the Tomatis method. And he explores how the medical establishment has begun to recognize and incorporate the therapeutic power of song. Acknowledging that the drumming circle will not--and should not--replace the emergency room, nor the shaman the cardiologist, Gioia suggests that the most promising path is one in which both the latest medical science and music--with its capacity to transform attitudes and bring people together--are brought to bear on the multifaceted healing process. In Healing Songs, as in its companion volume Work Songs, Gioia moves beyond studies of music centred on specific performers, time periods, or genres to illuminate how music enters into and transforms the experiences of everyday life.
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Ted Gioia, pianist, composer, and one of the founders of Stanford University's Jazz Studies program, is the author of "Work Songs," also published by Duke University Press, as well as several celebrated books, including "West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California, 1945-1960." His book "The History of Jazz" was selected as one of the best books of the year by Jonathan Yardley in the "Washington Post," chosen as a notable book of the year by the "New York Times," and honored with the Bay Area Book Reviewers' award for best nonfiction work of the year. His book "The Imperfect Art "won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award and was named a Jazz Book of the Century by the "Jazz Educators Journal." He has recorded several compact discs as a leader, including "The End of the Open Road" and "Tango Cool."
"Ted Gioia enriches and makes real the powerful message that music is, and has always been, an integral part of the toolkit that ordinary humans have used to navigate life. He shows that, far from being a pastime to fill idle moments or a distraction from everyday preoccupations, music addresses fundamental issues of human existence, survival, and liberation. Gioia's work offers hope to those who fear that the corporate mass media may have suffocated the age-old impulse of ordinary people to make music their own."--John Sloboda, author of Exploring the Musical Mind "Healings Songs explores the ancient idea that music can be used to cure or relieve all kinds of ailments, from madness to gout. [It] is a fascinating and formidably well-read essay ... "--The Daily Telegraph, 9 September 2006 "These are fascinating works of musical history which aim at putting two song genres fairly and squarely into their most basic context--human need. Gioia is a pianist and composer linked to Stanford University in the States, and here reinforces his reputation for combining inquisitive scholarship with lucid readability."--Classical Music, 12 May 2007
Back cover copy
"Ted Gioia enriches and makes real the powerful message that music is, and has always been, an integral part of the toolkit that ordinary humans have used to navigate life. He shows that, far from being a pastime to fill idle moments or a distraction from everyday preoccupations, music addresses fundamental issues of human existence, survival, and liberation. Gioia's work offers hope to those who fear that the corporate mass media may have suffocated the age-old impulse of ordinary people to make music their own."--John Sloboda, author of "Exploring the Musical Mind"