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December 2022

Structural analysis of post-tonal therapeutic improvisatory music

Journal/Book: Journal of British Music Therapy. 1990; 4: 6 - 20.

Abstract: The analytical investigation examining tonal therapeutic improvisatory music (Lee, C. A., 1989) would seem to indicate that music therapy should be exploring its own investigative form of analysis. The adoption of a Schenkerian construct of analysis accomodates music therapy perhaps more clearly than the often complex statistics and pitch classes that, for the most part, concern the analysis of atonal music. The tonal infrastructure can normally be described in direct relation to its harmonic foundation. With atonality, however, such reference points are not easily available, except in serialism or similiar theoretical forms of music. It is the intention of this article to investigate the diverse constructs of post-tonal analysis and consider their validity in exploring atonal issues of therapeutic improvisation. Initial focus will be on formal analysis of the improvisation, interspersed with a more informal subjective framework of enquiry endeavouring to evaluate relationship between both areas. The passage of improvisation selected is taken from a different session with the same client, thus enabling various parallels to be drawn.

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