Health musicking in Skiffle Steel Orchestra: Thoughts on collaboration between community music therapy and medical ethnomusicology | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1752-6299
  • E-ISSN: 1752-6302



This article presents a study of music and health promotion in Skiffle Steel Orchestra, a community music group located in San Fernando, Trinidad. It is based on ethnomusicological fieldwork data collected through an ongoing research partnership with Skiffle that began in 2005 and continues through the present. The study features health musicking that facilitates the embodiment of cultural values that engender a way of life, an outlook through which members of Skiffle ascribe meaning to their experiences that potentially encourages health promoting attitudes and behaviours as well as states of well-being. The primary objective for the article is to document and analyse this phenomenon, detailing the specific context as well as the general principles that underlie it, thus contributing to the body of literature about the potential for health promotion through musical means. A secondary objective of the article is to take advantage of, and encourage further, the potential for multidisciplinary and collaborative study of music and health promotion made possible by some of the theoretical perspectives and methodological procedures common to both community music therapy (CoMT) and medical ethnomusicology.


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