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Musical Bonding

Hannah Margaret Percival

Masters of Arts Counseling, Criswell College, Dallas, Texas, Spring 2015

For a PDF version of the complete paper, click here.

Abstract

This thesis proposes a new theory of musically induced Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) labeled Musical Bonding (MB). MB is built on Rouget’s (1985) and Becker’s (2004) foundational research regarding music and trance, as well as McNeill’s (1995) theory regarding muscular bonding. MB proposes that music, within certain social conditioning environments, could facilitate physiological processes (entrainment, an increase in alpha brain waves, and Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) arousal) and correlated psychological perceptions (awareness of group identity, diminished cognitive processes, and emotional arousal) which could lead to a bonding experience as traditional boundaries between self and others diminish. This thesis considers this theory of MB as applicable to the context of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) events. This thesis proposes a preliminary method for gathering normative baselines of the physiological processes associated with MB using the biofeedback instrument of EmWave2.