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Harmonizing music memories as a part of life story


  • Kimmo Lehtonen

    () (Turku University, Turku, Finland)

  • Anti Juvonen
  • Heikki Ruismaki


When the meanings of music education are explored, the clear significance of music as a part of civilization and culture is often mentioned. Indeed, music also has a strong instrumental meaning as it offers harmonizing cultural experiences through the memories and imaginings that remain throughout life, reminding the listener of important interactions, people, and experiences. These experiences are interwoven in many ways with identity and its construction. Important music experiences follow everyone from childhood to old age. Songs from childhood can even have an impact on old people’s memories and strengthen their quality of life and feelings of coherence, especially if they are affected by dementia or other memory illnesses. This article is based on 217 stories that respondents wrote about music experiences connected to important experiences in life. The themes of the stories were handled through content analysis and they focus on changes in human life phases and the problems of growing up. These changes are characterized by smooth periods interspersed with traumatic periods where music has significantly helped in the processing of the life problems. From the music education point of view, the results stress the special meaning of experimental music listening as a promoter of pupils’ personality and emotional life.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimmo Lehtonen & Anti Juvonen & Heikki Ruismaki, 2013. "Harmonizing music memories as a part of life story," Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS), , vol. 2(3), pages 167-185, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:jso:coejss:v:2:y:2013:i:3:p:167-185

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    References listed on IDEAS

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