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.
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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