This study describes the different experiences of time (duration) and repetition in a cross cultural context and how these influence the evaluation of Music Therapy clients in cross-cultural contexts. Field notes from an overnight Traditional Healing ceremony and video footage and session notes from a group Music Therapy session with female psychiatric patients provided primary data for this qualitative study. All data was transcribed and coded in order to analyse the nature of both time and repetition in these contexts. The results of the data analysis were compared to Western perceptions of time and repetition and Modern Music Therapy practice in an attempt to identify common ground. Experiences play a role when evaluating clients cross-culturally. The aim was to generate a deeper understanding and awareness of issues that may have to be taken into consideration when evaluating clients. My interest in this topic arose from my observation and participation in an overnight traditional ceremony and clinical work with a group of female patients from different backgrounds in a psychiatric setting. In both instances, culture appeared to play a significant role that I could neither fully understand nor be party to. I realised that attempts to evaluate clients in this context could provide inappropriate results. I used field notes from the overnight traditional ceremony and a video excerpt and session notes from a group session with female psychiatric patients as primary data sources for this qualitative study. All data was transcribed and coded in order to analyse the nature of both time and repetition in these contexts. The results of the data analysis were compared to Western perceptions of time and repetition and Modern Music Therapy practice in an attempt to identify common ground. This study is limited by the inaccessibility of first-hand experience of both Traditional Music Therapy and Modern Music Therapy by clients from traditional cultures. Such observations cannot be made by individuals from outside this context. I found that the aims, processes and practice of Traditional Music Therapy and Modern Music Therapy were far removed from each other and little, if any, commonality in perceptions of time and repetition existed. This however does not invalidate the practice of Modern Music Therapy with clients from traditional societies. What is required, however, is the development of a deeper understanding of the nature, implications and manifestations of traditional cultures in the context of Modern Music Therapy. We can learn from the vitality and inclusivity of African music and the healing role it plays in African societies. The development of a mutual understanding of each others cultures can provide a rewarding experience both for therapist and client.
Dissertation (MMus (Music Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2003.