Blues And Music Therapy

Blues And Music Therapy

Blues is a music genre based on the use of blues chord progressions and blue notes. Blue notes are played at a lower pitch than that of the major scale for expressive purposes.

It was a form of self expression in African American communities of the United States.

The term ‘the blue’ refers to the ‘blue devils’ that stands for melancholy and sadness. This is also used to describe a depressed mood. It has evolved from an unaccompanied vocal music and oral traditions of African-American slaves and rural Blacks into a variety of styles.

This is a music that has risen in the African American communities, a music that is born out of suffering, segregation, hopelessness and loss. This has developed from work songs of African slaves in the southern states of US. This is music inseparable from the struggle and sadness of the American Negro when segregation existed. It has become popular throughout the world. Even though its roots are sad, the music is uplifting and exhilarating.

‘Feeling blue’ or ‘the blues’ is another way of describing sadness. It also means feeling depressed. Although they are concerned with depression, they are taking one to happiness and optimism. This is based on the effects that the music has on the emotions. It is known that the low pitch causes relaxation, and a tempo of 70 beats per minute is soothing.

There are five elements which are considered as curative factors in group therapy. These are universality, cohesiveness, catharsis, existential awareness, and instillation of hope. Universality is the key appeal of the blues. To the audience that the individual is not alone in suffering is the message given. Blues are not protest songs. They are about acceptance of adversity. Their ability of providing a frame work for accepting their condition makes the blues comforting. Blues has provided a form for people to easily express their sadness and that is why it is often used in music therapy when treating people to cope with personal loss or depression. It helps people come to terms with their grief and/or sadness.

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Blues And Music Therapy