Posted in Project 2: Palestrina and the Mass, Uncategorized

Research Point 1.1, Part B: Music and Religion

The second part of this research point is to write a brief article of around 500 words (although I went a bit above this threshold, almost 800 words), regarding the connection between music and religion, interlacing my personal position with the material I’ve discovered. Below is my short essay on the topic.

Music and Religion: The Layered Entanglement

From the historical perspective, although far from the contemporary understanding, in a loose manner, the interplays between music and religion may be traced all the way back to the prehistory, when, as Boivin (2004: 48) points out, ‘percussion and/or other sounds contributed to the creation of an appropriate spiritual or emotional state for viewing or creation of rock art in ritual context.’ In a peculiar way, despite the scarce information that is available regarding the music from this period, the rock art might represent the first musical artefacts that visually depict how early the humanity recognized the value of acoustics and sound-production for the mystical act of worship. Along these lines, the primitive societies today retained the force of music as a type of tone-magic in their percussive shamanistic rituals, often accompanied by trance.

The above contrasts the modern frame of reference, where music is seen to interact with religion, now in the institutionalized settings, in the sense of aiding wakeful and calm meditative states of devotion. This association can be observed in many organized religions across the world, and the scholars usually focus on the sacred music from one of the traditions as the area of their investigation, for example, trying to discover how the vocal music became the dominant form in certain religious landscapes, and how some particular sounds became emblematic of a certain tradition, such as om
in Hinduism, throat-singing in Buddhism, certain vocalizations in Islam, shofar in Judaism, and church organ and bell in Christianity. (Hackett, 2012: 17) Continue reading “Research Point 1.1, Part B: Music and Religion”

Posted in For Project 7 Examples

Example 3 Research, Part 3a: Overlapping of the Words: Flute, Whistle and Pipe; and the Primitive Reedless Woodwind Aerophones

For my third example, using the previously explained nonatonic scale, I decided to write a piece for the flute. This is the first part of the research about the instrument, focusing on the earliest period of its emergence.

In the broadest sense, flute is a reedless woodwind aerophone – a hollow tube (or sometimes a globe and other shapes), which produces a tone when a stream of air is projected against the sharp edge of its opening. (Fig. 1) Under this loose definition, the term flute is a general name for a very large and varied family of wind instruments, but this denotation overlaps with the terms pipe and whistle.


Fig. 1. The mechanics of reedless woodwind instruments

Pipe can refer to not only the specific instrument – the three-holed pipe played with tabor (Fig. 3), which is classified under the flute family, but it can also have a very broad meaning – any instrument in the form of tube, or any aerophone in general, with or without reed. In this sense, pipe can be categorized as the generic term, with the flute being its subcategory.


Fig. 3. The tabor pipe Continue reading “Example 3 Research, Part 3a: Overlapping of the Words: Flute, Whistle and Pipe; and the Primitive Reedless Woodwind Aerophones”