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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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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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