Music as Medicine: An Evocative Bi-Autoethnography of Surviving Divorce

Annabella Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As a musician-researcher of Chinese musicians’ journeys, I was confronted with
stories that led me to interrogate my own worldviews. As my identity shifted in this experiential process, I became an autoethnographer by serendipity.
Autoethnography is storytelling that blurs the boundaries between humanities and sciences, expressing lived experience in novel and literary forms, depicting stories and including authors’ critical reflection on their lives and writing process, with the purpose of transforming self and society. This evocative autoethnography explores the phenomenon of divorce, in reference to my personal experience and another musician’s lived experience interpreted through my understanding as a participant-researcher. This project integrates autoethnographical and phenomenological approaches in the analysis of two intertwining narratives. Two overarching themes will be explored: music as medicine, and divine hope in healing. Musicking and our Christian faith had transformed us from heartbrokenness to survival. I draw on multiple intersections to theorize about these two tales from two generations. This is the essence of autoethnographic research where theorizing takes different forms and can be engaged through multiple points of contact and streams of processing. The retelling of our stories captures something alive, and challenges biases associated with divorce and predicted by cultural norms. Our bi- autoethnography is staged-storied-scholarship that is therapeutic and embodied. It incorporates evocative texts, dramatic narratives and musical presentations that combine to communicate our inner-worlds to others who
might share a similar experience. This study explores new directions in finding
authentic selves through qualitative inquiry with the creative use of multimedia in autoethnographic performances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884 - 898
Number of pages15
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this