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Music, Identity, & Authenticity: Reflecting the Narratives of Black Queer Men through Piano-Based Music Improvisation
Music, Identity, & Authenticity: Reflecting the Narratives of Black Queer Men through Piano-Based Music Improvisation
Fred Perkins
This thesis is the dissemination of the findings of a research study exploring piano-based music improvisation and the lived experience of Black queer men. The overall aim was to explore how five Black queer men experience the intersections of their racial identity a...
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This thesis is the dissemination of the findings of a research study exploring piano-based music improvisation and the lived experience of Black queer men. The overall aim was to explore how five Black queer men experience the intersections of their racial identity and sexuality in various social environments through piano-based music improvisation. This study grew out of my own experiences as a Black queer man and my ability or lack thereof to authentically express my racial identity and sexuality in specific social environments. Participants were chosen through convenience sampling and were prompted to engage in a series of piano improvisations, where they were asked to musically communicate how they experience their racial identity and sexuality within their biological family, friend group, and society. Data was collected through video recordings of the improvisations, written reflections to questions about the experience, and through transcriptions of the member checking discussions. Following each improvisation, participants were asked to reflect upon two questions regarding their process and experience during the improvisation. The recorded improvisations were then analyzed using Dr. Kenneth Bruscia’s Improvisation Assessment Profiles (IAPs) and interpretations about the participants’ experiences were made. Member checking was utilized to ensure an accurate representation of the participants’ experiences. Themes of 1) prejudice, 2) sense of identity, 3) impacts of relationships, and 4) responses to trauma that emerged in the verbal data were discussed in the context of the individual and collective experiences of the participants with implications for the practice of music therapy.
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2021