Je Suis Parisien: How Music Soothes Public Grief

“The defense we try to build with our intellect is torn apart. The mirror music holds in front of us gives license to feel how our bodies are, to let our vulnerability out, to dissolve.” –E. Rudd, 2011, “Music and grief—after 22 July”

Marie Strand Skånland and Gro Trondalen published “Music and Grief: Norway After 22 July, 2011″in the 14th volume of Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 2014.

Why the essay? On July 22, 2011 Norway was rocked by a bomb explosion in Oslow and a shooting on the island of Utøya. Ultimately, seventy-seven people were killed and at least two hundred people were injured. Like 9/11 ten years earlier (and the tragedy in Paris yesterday), music played and continues to play an important role in helping support a shocked and grieving public. This essay focuses on how, specifically, music is therapeutic in public mourning and group grief.

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