Music as Well-being
Postlude: Orpheus Rediscovered: The Way Forward
Postlude Orpheus Rediscovered: The Way Forward A Story The rabbi goes to the woods to celebrate his ritual. He finds the place, lights the fire, and sings the service. God says: ‘It is enough.’ The rabbi goes to the woods to celebrate the service. He finds the place but has for- gotten how to light the fire. God says: ‘It is enough.’ The rabbi can no longer find the wood but he sings the service. God says: ‘It is enough.’ The rabbi can no longer remember the words of the service. But he sings the tune. God says: ‘It is enough.’1 Introduction The Jewish story here describes the origins of the Nigun, the wordless Jewish song tradition. It represents the move from a time when music was inextricably bound up with religious ritual to a freestanding music – inde- pendent of the ceremony. And yet, in this story, this now wordless song is still conceived of as a religious experience. This book has asked the basic questions underpinning the story: • Is all music potentially a sacred experience? • Is there actually a secular music? 1 I am grateful to Irith Shillor for this story. 336 Postlude • Is the aesthetic a contemporary version of spirituality? • Can spirituality be freed from a particular religious tradition? In the Prelude we saw the possibility of the restoration of a spiritual dimen- sion to music to produce transformative situations. The opening of the domain of the Spiritual releases the healing possibilities of music – personal, cultural and environmental;...
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