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Experiencing Music – Restoring the Spiritual

Music as Well-being


June Boyce-Tillman

This book concerns an examination of the totality of the musical experience with a view to restoring the soul within it. It starts with an analysis of the strands in the landscape of contemporary spirituality. It examines the descriptors spiritual but not religious, and spiritual and religious, looking in particular at the place of faith narratives in various spiritualities. These strands are linked with the domains of the musicking experience: Materials, Expression, Construction and Values. The book sets out a model of the spiritual experience as a negotiated relationship between the musicker and the music. It looks in detail at various models of musicking drawn from music therapy, ethnomusicology, musicology and cultural studies. It examines the relationship between Christianity and music as well as examining some practical projects showing the effect of various Value systems in musicking, particularly in intercultural dialogue. It finally proposes an ecclesiology of musical events that includes both orate and literate traditions and so is supportive of inclusive community.


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Prelude: And Still I Wander … through Greek Mythology and the Idea of the Soul


PRELUDE And Still I Wander … through Greek Mythology and the Idea of the Soul The Greek Myths This Prelude is based on three Greek myths – those of Psyche, Hermes and Orpheus – which I am going to use to illuminate the way we see music in Western culture. The first one is that of Psyche and Eros. Psyche was a mortal woman of extraordinary beauty, truth and goodness whom Aphrodite wished to wound; she sent Eros to carry out her wishes by making Psyche fall in love with a monster in a mysterious castle. It did not go according to plan; for the interface between Greek gods and humans often went awry. Eros fell in love with Psyche; but gave her one condition that she would not to discover his identity by looking at his face. Because of this, she was separated from him. However, Psyche could not bear this and found out that it was Eros – the god of love – that she was to marry. In order to re-unite with him, she was set four tasks to complete. The first was to sort a room full of seeds; the second was to obtain a golden fleece from fierce rams. Then she had to fill a glass from the waters of the River Styx. Finally she had to go to Hades to retrieve a beautiful box. In some versions she opens this box and is again forced to wander (although in some she succeeds and becomes divine). I see her still...

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