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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 Eight: Crossing a Threshold: Encountering the Spiritual


Chapter Eight Crossing a Threshold: Encountering the Spiritual A Poem I went to the garden as the sun was descending … It was as if the great ferns had grown longer and greener It was as if the greening power of the earth was everywhere – filling the world with love and strength It was as if the entire world was singing It was as if I loved everything and everything loved me It was as if I had found the place I was really meant to be It was as if I was in the place just right – the valley of love and delight It was as if God had made me just for this moment It was as if I was alive for the first time It was as if I saw the world made new It was as if the garden enclosed me and held me safe It was as if everything was higher than it had ever been It was as if everything was cool It was as if nothing mattered but this one moment of Divine promise. (Boyce-Tillman 2011 June 24th unpublished) 266 Chapter Eight Introduction This was an attempt to encompass in poetry one of the experiences to which I would give the name spiritual. It followed the experience of the performance of one of my pieces in Winchester Cathedral. It is related to the Metaphysical strand outlined in Chapter One. Music has the possibility of creating such a liminal space and, indeed, the perceived effectiveness...

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