Class Notes (807,339)
Canada (492,708)
Music (217)
MUS200H1 (23)
Lecture 5

MUS200H1 Lecture 5: Religion and Ritual

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
James Kippen

MUS200—Lecture 5 Mardi Gras in New Orleans • French colony in 1699 • Tradition of “Beouf Gras” • New Orleans established in 1718 • 1740s—governor established society balls to celebrate • Music associated with such celebrations reflects the blended culture and history of the places in which carnival flourishes, aspect of tourism • Music is not religious or part of ritual in this case o still understand that is connected to a religious history o broad scope for defining the connection between music, religion, spiritually and experience Religion and Ritual • Religious contexts have been important sites for musical development and patronage • understand rites of passage • connection between deity, worshippers and religious institutions • helps create the experience of ritual • often produces a sense of transcendence o feeling that the moment has special significance that extends beyond limits of everyday experience • Music is often used to evoke strong emotional or physical response in ritual • music can contribute to an altered state of consciousness • role of music in religious • in Toronto as we interact, we can understand a broader aspect of religious contents • some example today are situated in the past, should be considered adaptive practices that change, develop, and culturally interact over time • Three Stages o Most rituals—those marking life-cycle events (initiations and funerals) incorporate a symbolic process or an actual change of state: 3 stages ▪ separation ▪ transition ▪ incorporation o ex. Wedding ceremony ▪ rite of passage that alters the status of single men and women ▪ ceremony facilitates this transition ▪ at the end they re-enter society as a married couple Case Study #1: Shona • A group of Bantu-speaking people • Largely situated in the region today called Zimbabwe • Colonial interactions with Portuguese from 1500s • English-speaking settlers 1900s • war of liberation 1966-79 o role of music in this struggle: popular and traditional songs with hidden meanings helped to spread mass opinion; spirit mediums were leaders in war against white privilege o Mbira, an instrument of spirit mediums, became a positive symbol of cultural identity • Shona spirits o believes 4 classes of ancestral spirits affect the world ▪ spirits of chiefs ▪ family members ▪ nonrelatives or animals ▪ witches o ancestral spirits are invisible, but have sensory experience, feel emotions and take action to help and advice descendants o Mbira music helps to connect the living with dead ancestors • Mbira o thumb piano o Construction ▪ long, thin keys of metal ▪ soundboard bridge that holds the keys ▪ resonator to shape and amplify sound of plucked keys ▪ bottle caps or other jingles that buzz rhythmically o Frequent use in spirit possession ceremonies o played in a large gourd resonator for performance o performances are interactive between players and listeners: importance of clapping, singing and rhythm from hosho • Bira ceremony o ceremonies where spirit possession occur, type of séance o Last all-night, family based, communal ritual o Humans and spirits communicate through possession trances ▪ spirit enters the body of living person, supplanting his or her spirit ▪ Through the medium, an ancestral spirit can advise his or her living relative ▪ tell them what they’ve done wrong, how to protect themselves and ensure good fortune ▪ may also advise a gathering of several families about matters that affect the whole community • Mbira music and dancing are significant elements of the ceremony • Why? o Ancestral spirits love to hear favourite mbira pieces o music is an offering that calls spirits near o increases chance of possession occurring o repertoire remains stable over many generations to ensure this offering will be accepted • Listening Example #1: “Nhemamusasa” o Means “cutting branches for culture” • vocal part includes vocables, poetry and yodeling • piece has two interlocking parts: kushaura and kutsinhira o polyphonic texture—interaction of parts creates multi-layered sounds • Recording: field recording of the kushaura section by Paul Berliner in 1971 in Zimbabwe • Helps us to think for links between people and spirits , the role music plays in establishing a ritual experience • Bira ceremony uses music to entice spirits • music prepares the spirit and the individual that will be possessed for possession • up until the time a medium is possessed, the main driving force of the cere
More Less

Related notes for MUS200H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.