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J Music Ther. 2002 Spring;39(1):40-55.

Music for relaxation: a comparison of musicians and nonmusicians on ratings of selected musical recordings.

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University of the Pacific, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the kinds of musical selections/CDs to place in a portfolio to be used within a music listening/relaxation program for parents of children in a pediatric hospital. A panel of experts (4 music therapy graduate students and 2 music therapy instructors) listened to a selection of CD recordings (n = 10) which reported to contain music for relaxation. These 10 recordings were chosen based either on words within the title suggestive of sedative/relaxing music, or the literature (booklet) accompanying the CD that contained claims of such therapeutic value. Average number of selections across the 10 recordings was 9.8 with a total of 98 musical selections presented to the panel. A 1 1/2-minute segment from each selection (starting at the beginning of each piece) was played on a stereo CD unit, and time was given to complete a response form following each of the musical selections. The panel was asked to rate the relaxation quality of each piece, and to specify the musical characteristics that enhanced and/or distracted from relaxation. Weekly listening sessions of 40-50 minutes in duration were scheduled across a 10-week time period. Based on the results of the experts, 10 of the 98 musical selections were chosen for presentation to a group of nonmusicians. Again, as with the experts, the nonmusicians listened to 1 1/2-minute segments from each selection and completed a response form similar to the form completed by the panel. Additional questions asked the nonmusicians whether they listened to music for relaxation, and if so, what kind(s) of music they preferred to use for this purpose. Results from the panel of experts and nonmusicians were compiled, and descriptive statistics were used to compare the data. Suggestions were given concerning possible inclusion of musical recordings that may be used in a music listening/ relaxation program for parents of children within a pediatric setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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