The constructivist research paradigm informed a research investigation on the relevance of music therapy in a cancer hospital, that is, what did the music therapy do and did it help? Over 3 months, criterion sampling was used to elicit interpretations in 5 studies from 5 sources: 128 patients who participated, 27 patients who overheard or witnessed music therapy, 41 visitors, 61 staff, and the music therapist-researcher. Fifty-seven percent of the patients who participated had advanced or end stage cancer. The music therapist’s interpretations were recorded in a reflexive clinical journal and the respondents’ interpretations were written on anonymous open-ended questionnaires. Thematic and content analyses were performed on the 5 groups of data with the support of qualitative data management software. Findings from the 5 data groups were contrasted and compared. Many patients’, visitors’ and staff members’ affective, contemplative, and imagined moments in music therapy affirmed their “aliveness,” resonating with an expanded consciousness, in a context where life’s vulnerability is constantly apparent. Philosophical depictions about the relevance of music in human life, including theories by Addis and Winnicott, substantiated the therapeutic reactions.
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