Music in Therapy: Increasing Possibilities for Action


  • Even Ruud Department of musicology, University of Oslo


music, action, change, therapy


The article discusses how music therapy, considered as a discipline as well as arenas of different practices and theoretical models, may contribute to our understanding of how music may influence our actions. Among the many models of music therapy the author discusses an ontology of music which is compatible with a contextual understanding of how musical meanings are produced and performed. The article further presents how theories from receptive music therapy (The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music), improvisational music therapy (Creative Music Therapy), Community Music Therapy, and more resource-oriented ways of working may provide new insights into how music in therapy works in giving us new possibilities for action.

Author Biography

Even Ruud, Department of musicology, University of Oslo

Even Ruud is Professor of Music in the Department of Music and Theatre, University of Oslo and Adjunct Professor in Music Therapy, The State Academy of Music, Oslo. He has published books about music therapy, music education and music and cultural studies, including, Music Therapy and its Relationship to Current Treatment Theories (1980), Musikken - vårt nye rusmiddel (1983), Music and Health (1986), Musikk for øyet (1988), Musikk og verdier (1996), Musikk og identitet (1997) and Music Therapy: Improvisation, Communication, and Culture (1998). Since 1978 Ruud has been an active participant in the training of music therapists and has held the position as the Head of the Department of Music and Theatre, University of Oslo for two periods.