Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


John J. Cali School of Music

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Brian Abrams

Committee Member

Leah Oswanski

Committee Member

Lynn Coyle


This research explores the phenomenon of thirdness and seeks to understand the experience of thirdness for music therapists working with children on the autism spectrum. This thesis includes a review of literature on thirdness as a general phenomenon, as well as thirdness specifically in music therapy. This was accomplished through a set of phenomenological interviews with three experienced music therapists in the field. A total of 102 meaning units were extracted from the culled transcripts and sorted into 17 categories. The categories were derived by carefully reviewing the related meaning units and were then stated in terms of thirdness. The categories were divided into three types - Antecedent, Experience, and Consequent - and then arranged in an aesthetically and conceptually meaningful order. Once the order was established, the categories were then used to build an essential description that summarized the whole of the categories and meaning units as inclusively as possible. Lastly, the categories were logically reconstructed and reordered into individual narratives, revealing significant findings and clinical implications.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons