Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Archetypal power of music: The improvisational cadenza as a model for pedagogy
by Whitehurst, Mark Milton, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2010, 183; 3500727
Abstract (Summary)

This study identifies the improvisational cadenza as a ritual that amplifies the archetypal power of music and opens transformative questions that challenge traditional pedagogy. This ritual form becomes apparent when it bridges the memorized musical theme and the imaginal musical extension of that theme. The bridging of this gap, between the known and the unknown, the literal and figurative, and the conscious and the unconscious creates a space where the use of imagination, improvisation, and creativity as a transition is valued and held to be useful to individuals and the community. Archetypal psychology provides the framework for the analysis of the ritual of the improvisational cadenza. This analysis views aesthetic practices and forms as dialectical in nature, which opens conversations and relationships through an active imagination. Then the practice of ritual, through the process of improvisation and synthesis, creates something new or unique. It is an experience of awareness and action that results in wisdom, vision, and connections with the numinous, connections that feed the soul and create communitas. Nietzsche uses the characteristics of Apollo and Dionysus, gods of art, to mediate, balance, and justify an aesthetic universe. These philosophical ideas are the logical extension of this ritual into pedagogical value, a balanced pedagogy that draws from both the affective domain and the rational domain to educate in such a way as to create wisdom and vision.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mahaffey, Patrick
Commitee:
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Pedagogy, Music education, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Cadenzas, Improvisation
Publication Number: 3500727
ISBN: 9781267220394
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