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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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Interlude Two: Music and Christian Theology


Interlude Two Music and Christian Theology I expect that many readers of this book might have expected a greater explo- ration of this area. However, I have set out above a situating of religion in the domain of Values; this enables the liminal/spiritual space, which we shall explore next to be either religion-full or religion-free. This interlude will examine in a little more detail how Christian theology has viewed music as spiritual experience.1 It has been regarded as an icon and a sacrament; but Thomas and Manning see the iconic effect lying in the relationship between the music and personal taste. These authors, although acknowledging the dominance of Western classical music in the literature, open up the power of the sacred to a variety of musics (Thomas and Manning 1995). Geoffrey Moore sees the hymn as iconic because it is physical and guides our vision, thought and understanding (G. Moore 2015 p. 7). The function of religion in relation to spirituality is to situate it within an integrated system of global meaning. Some writers see a religious frame as essential for a balanced spirituality. Miner and Dowson (2012) see phi- losophy and psychology as: an objective means of describing and analysing aspects of spiritual experiences, but not of fully expressing their ineffable qualities. On the other hand, music, literature and the arts are often used to give partial expression to spiritual traits, states and experiences. Yet, there is always a sense of incompleteness in musical, literary and 1 There is...

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