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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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Chapter Four: The Environment


Chapter Four The Environment A Poem After a Poetry Reading in Winchester Cathedral by Doreen Pearce These huge Quarr stones have stood for centuries soaking up sounds, divine and secular, thinning the human voice to a mere thread, de-thundering the organ, damping down the choir. But when the last trump comes and graves give up their dead, when kings and bishops, saints and noblemen rise from their chests, sort out their bones, and are re-fleshed, will then the transept walls give up their sounds, poems re-echo round the arches pillars resound with Benedictine psalms? Will youth guitars, visiting choirs, sermons of deans and Handel’s hallelujahs all combine with organ notes in one triumphant shout of praise before the world dissolves? For me the process began last night. Thank you. (2009 unpublished email) 140 Chapter Four Introduction There is a renewed interest in embodied cognition with the development of Performance as Research (Boyce-Tillman et al 2012c) and Work-based learning (Boyce-Tillman 2013c). This aspect of music making has often been ignored. All music consists of organisations of concrete Materials drawn both from the human body and the environment including the crystals that vibrate in digital technology. Lori Custodero sees the musical motifs as musical Materials and calls the experience ‘aesthetic: I propose that ‘being with’ music [author’s italics] generates a sense of the aesthetic as we both transform musical materials – timbres, pitches, rhythms. Phrases, harmo- nies – and are transformed by our experiences with them. (Custodero 2005b p. 36) We have already seen...

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