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Rivers of Sacred Sound



Solveig McIntosh

Rivers of Sacred Sound traces the flow of influences from East to West, from

BC to AD and from wordless jubilations to the setting of texts. It takes the

discussion about western chant beyond a European perspective.

The text of this book, preceded by an introduction, is presented in seven

chapters and covers a period of approximately five thousand years. There are

many references all over the world to praising the divine with sound. Thus

the starting point is the praise song, a fundamental impulse in mankind. The

Rg-Veda requests that our loudest-sounding hymn be accepted, as food most

delightful to the Gods. The Psalms request us to make a joyful noise unto God

and to sing forth the honour of His name. Spontaneous songs became ritual

events. In an aural culture what was the role of gesture and what is its role

now? There are many doors to open in pursuing these and other questions.

This book opens some of them.

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Apel, Willi, Gregorian Chant (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1990).

Aitreya Āraṇyaka, 3.25 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909).

Augustin, Enarrationes in Psalmos, Latin texts in Sancti Aurelii Augustine Hipponensis Episcopi (online).

Aurobindo, Sri, The Secret of the Veda (Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Publication Department, 1956).

Bake, Arnold, ‘The Practice of Sāmaveda’, Proceedings and Transactions of the Seventh All-India Oriental Conference (Baroda: Baroda Oriental Research Institute, 1935).

Baur, Alfred, Healing Sounds: Fundamentals of Chirophonetics (East Sussex: Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1993).

Bell, Nicolas, Music in Medieval Manuscripts (London: The British Library, 2001).

A Benedictine of Stanbrook, A Grammar of Plainsong (Liverpool: Rushworth & Dreaper, 1934).

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