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Palgrave Macmillan

Music, Health and Wellbeing

Exploring Music for Health Equity and Social Justice

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Argues that health and wellbeing should be accessible to everyone
  • Highlights how musicians and music facilitators have a unique role to play in promoting health and music for all
  • Examining how the benefits of music making and arts practice can influence individual and societal health and wellbeing outcomes

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About this book

This book explores the power music has to address health inequalities and the social determinants of health and wellbeing. It examines music participation as a determinant of wellbeing and as a transformative tool to impact on wider social, cultural and environmental conditions. Uniquely, in this volume health and wellbeing outcomes are conceptualised on a continuum, with potential effects identified in relation to individual participants, their communities but also society at large. While arts therapy approaches have a clear place in the text, the emphasis is on music making outside of clinical contexts and the broader roles musicians, music facilitators and educators can play in enhancing wellbeing in a range of settings beyond the therapy room. This innovative edited collection will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of music, social services, medical humanities, education and the broader health field in the social and medical sciences.

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Table of contents (14 chapters)


“Through its ability to touch our fundamental humanity, music has a role to play not simply in individual, but also in public health and in health inequalities. It can encourage people … to embrace the social and political changes that will move us towards a fairer and healthier world. Whether it actually does so will depend on the social purpose and political commitment of musicians and their educators.” (Professor Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Australia

    Naomi Sunderland

  • Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, South Brisbane, Australia

    Natalie Lewandowski, Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

  • Latrobe University, VIC, Australia

    Dan Bendrups

About the editors

Naomi Sunderland is Senior Lecturer in the School of Human Services and Social Work at the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, Australia.

Dan Bendrups is a Lecturer in the Research Education and Development team at Latrobe University, Australia. He has produced numerous publications on music and heritage, performance research theory and practice.

Natalie Lewandowski is the editor of Screen Sound Journal – The Australasian Journal of Soundtrack Studies, she teaches in screen sound, public and media relations and Australian contemporary art.

Brydie-Leigh Bartleet is Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre Griffith University, Australia and Co-Chair of the International Society for Music Education’s Community Music Activities Commission.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Music, Health and Wellbeing

  • Book Subtitle: Exploring Music for Health Equity and Social Justice

  • Editors: Naomi Sunderland, Natalie Lewandowski, Dan Bendrups, Brydie-Leigh Bartleet

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-349-95283-0Published: 15 December 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-95785-9Published: 05 September 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-349-95284-7Published: 01 December 2017

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 303

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Social Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Medical Sociology, Social Care, Social Work, Music

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