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Music and the MindEssays in honour of John Sloboda$
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Irène Deliège and Jane Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199581566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.001.0001

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Emotions in motion: transforming conflict and music

Emotions in motion: transforming conflict and music

Chapter:
(p.363) Chapter 18 Emotions in motion: transforming conflict and music
Source:
Music and the Mind
Author(s):

Arild Bergh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.003.0018

In recent violent conflicts around the world, music has often been used to channel emotions and make combatants’ fluid identities more explicit and oppositional in order to create or sustain the conflict. In addition, in industrialized countries music is used by groups from different geographical origins to maintain group borders and thus emphasize their differences with other groups. At the same time there is an increased interest in the use of aesthetic materials such as music to attempt to transform these conflicts and tensions, with highly variable results. From an academic standpoint, although there is a lot of high-flown rhetoric about music and its abilities to ‘soothe the beast’, little empirical work exists on music and its use for reducing conflicts. Rather more is written from speculative and opinionated viewpoints, often by those involved in the projects in the first place. In this article I first discuss the problems involved in writing and researching this highly charged area, even for academics, before drawing on Sloboda’s academic work related to music and emotion and music education when discussing empirical data from conflict transformation projects in Norway and Sudan. I end by summarizing some potential real world uses for this new area of conflict transformation, thereby covering both areas that Sloboda has been involved in, first music psychology and now conflict resolution as the Director of Oxford Research Group.

Keywords:   music, conflict transformation, John Sloboda, music psychology, conflict resolution, emotion, music education

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