Home Institution

Denison University

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts


The purpose of this study was to discover the role of traditional Senegalese music used in therapeutic contexts. Specifically, I sought to discover its uses and understand the ideologies and cultural significance behind its usage. I collected data using participant observation, interviewing, and archival research in Dakar and Ngoundiame, a Serrere village, Senegal. I found that music was used for cathartic and healing purposes in two primary schools in Dakar and in the traditional ndepp ceremony, respectively. These usages of music reflected larger themes in Senegalese culture. In conclusion, I recommended that music be integrated into mental health treatment through Joseph J. Moreno's discipline, ethnomusic therapy.


Arts and Humanities | Ethnomusicology | Therapeutics