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Conclusion This book began with a call to widen the concept of liturgy and liturgical studies beyond Christian parameters. Certainly the case has been made for the importance of studying ritual and liturgy in different religions. Yet because of a lack of attention to the implicit connections between ritual and music, we have adopted the category of sonic liturgy as a method of approaching the immense variety of sound events and musical expressions in the context of ritual and liturgy. In the ancient Mediterranean world music was viewed as a gift from the gods to humans. In ancient Greece sacrifices required the playing of flutes, cymbals, lyre, and tambourine. Music had a magical influence over the pagan gods and controlled the forces of nature. In this work we have observed a wealth of these same features in India, where music is a gift of the god Brahma and the goddess Sarasvati in some texts and a benefaction of Siva in others. While the ancient Sama-Gana pleased the gods and brought control over the forces in charge of the natural world, musical instruments were actually played in heaven and transferred to the human realm to assist in the accumulation of salvational merit or Apurva. The Western concept of epiclesis , the calling down of the divine to the earthly plane for purposes of supplication , has found its perfect Eastern corollary in the Vedic Yajna, where priests called down the gods to the sacrifice in order to placate them and make offerings; Sama-Gana invited the Vedic gods to the Yajna in descending scales. Apotropaia, the notion of removing evil forces from sacred spaces, finds Eastern counterparts in both Vedic chant and the performance of drama and Gandharva Sangita. In all cases it is the liturgical context that provides the theater or arena for the conduct of sacred sonic procedures. In the case of Gandharva Sangita, musicians used ascending and descending scales to petition and commune with the gods in Puja rituals. In fact, we have noted that the introduction of the Puja rituals into ancient drama necessitated the construction of a new “classical music” with its own myth of origin that also drew upon features outside of the Indo-Aryan sphere. Just as in Celtic culture where music was a connector to the Otherworld, in ancient Indian Vedic Sama-Gana, as well as in Gandharva Sangita, music was the principal vehicle that transported the musician and the listener to heavenly states conclusion • 201 in the afterlife. Performing music was even placed on a higher soteriological platform than sacrifices and the chanting of the rosary of divine names (Japa). The pioneer phenomenologists of religion Rudolf Otto and Gerardus Van der Leeuw both affirmed that the experience of music was equivalent to the experience of the holy, that musical feeling was “wholly other.” The ancient Indian philosophers of music such as Bharata and Dattila contended that, since music was pleasing to the gods, it brought about moral uplift and the permanent experience of divine bliss. The application of these modalities of thought vis-à-vis the notion of sonic liturgy highlights the importance of the Hindu phenomena associated with ritual and music. We have also introduced liturgical studies and ritual studies as effective disciplines for the study of music and religion in non-Western cultures. Christian theologians , most specifically Louis Boyer and Edward Foley, have given us their foundational views on liturgy—as a universal autonomous agent that generates religious consciousness. With liturgy so broadly denoted, there was an urgent need for Christian thinkers to situate the concept within the general sacrality of the universe. Consequently the disciplines of phenomenology of religion and history of religions were enlisted to provide facts and theoretical formulations. All religious rituals were now part of this general sacred universe that was instituted by “the gods” in the beginning. As such, Bouyer argued that all rites reflect the prototypical and original human action, Richard Viladesau affirmed the theological foundation for all culture, including music, and Anthony Monti demonstrated that all works of art convey the presence of God, even when not labeled as such. Alongside these pronouncements, we have the ritual-studies axiom that culture cannot be defined apart from cult. With these premises on the table it behooved researchers in religious studies like me to begin applying the methods and structures of analysis of liturgical studies and ritual studies to Hindu traditions of worship. Once all rituals and liturgies were seen to partake of the sacred world, all...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781611171082
Related ISBN
9781611170375
MARC Record
OCLC
824698506
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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