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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 Five: Music and Expression


Chapter Five Music and Expression A Story In the popular UK radio drama, Old Harry’s Game Satan is training a young devil called Scumspawn in hell. Scumspawn calls him up saying that there is a problem in the Reception Pit. ‘Master, we need your wisdom and experience!’ When Satan responds Scumspawn explains that following a gas explosion at the Grand Ole Opry, they have taken unexpected delivery of a country and western band. ‘Obviously we set about giving them their introductory scourging but now we are in trouble, because every time we subject them to more suffering and pain … they just write a song about it.’ In the background, the country and western band are singing: ‘We’re standing in a lake of fire And the flames are a-getting higher.’ ‘You see how horrendous it is’, says Scumspawn. ‘At the moment they’re stuck for a rhyme for “inferno”, but it’s only a brief respite.’ Satan responds with offering the help of his new assistant, Nero. Scumspawn protests: ‘But he is a mere mortal.’ Nero retorts that actually he is a god. At this Satan is cross: ‘No, you’re not actually a god, Nero.’ Nero protests: ‘I am a god. The Senate declared me a god.’ Satan invalidates this claim by retorting that his status was only given by a certificate from bunch of fat Italians wearing sheets. Nonetheless he dispatches Nero to deal with Scumspawn’s problem. ‘Any idea how you’re going to deal with it?’ ‘Simple.’ Says Nero ‘I...

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