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Experiencing Music – Restoring the Spiritual

Music as Well-being

Series:

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 Seven: Values in Musicking

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Chapter Seven Values in Musicking A Story of Values When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavour and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else. When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song and, finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life. (A. Cohen 2003)    The author of this story also relates how, in this African tradition, there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the person. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or an aberrant social act, the individual is called to the centre of the village and the people in the community form a circle around him or...

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