Religion in Music
Nowadays we hear many people talking about religion, religiosity or Christianity, without really knowing, understanding or feeling its meaning. Having such a various access to information, we find out about religion from many sources, most of the time ignoring to see it in the most obvious ones: in everything that surrounds us and in the Church. In order to transmitinformation we need to express ourselves and which way better than music? Music helps us share feelings, passions, knowledge and experience in an easy and pleasant way.
I have chosen to write about this topic, because I find it very present in our days and there are many types of religious messages transmitted through different genres of music not only religious one. Therefore I will try toshare my own perception on this subject in the following lines and hopefully offer some new information to the reader.
I. Music and Religion
What is music? Music is the purity of the seeker-musician’s life. Music is the beauty of the seeker-musician’s heart. Music is the divinity of the seeker-musician’s soul. Music is not and cannot be vital excitement. Music is psychicenlightenment. Music is the supreme fulfillment of the aspiring human soul.
Of all the arts, music is the most available and the most universal. It springs out of the very speech and soul of a person or a community. It uses the most universal instrument, the human voice, and sounds created by earthy things like catgut and skin and wood and brass. Its tenderness and its profundity begin with thesongs for infants sung by parents, and its power is manifested in the chants of priests of all cults and sects incanting prayers for the benefits of the gods.
What is religion? Religion is the code of life. From the code of life we come to learn we are of God the One, with God the One, in God the Many and for God the Many.
In religion there is soulful prayer and fruitfulmeditation. Soulful prayer purifies our human mind. Fruitful meditation illumines our human heart. Once we have achieved purification and illumination, we are far along the road to our self-discovery, which is God-realization.
What is the role of music in religion? And - what is the position of religion towards music? Music and religion are like the obverse and reverse of the same reality-coin.Music in its purest sense is religion and religion in its purest sense is music. Only music and religion can transform and perfect humanity. This music-religion, this code of life, this universal language of the soul, can only be offered; it cannot be purchased or sold. Music and religion are for the seekers, for the music-lovers, for the truth-servers. Money-power or earthly name and fame cannotlord it over these two immortal realities, these two earthly and heavenly treasures.
Music sometimes plays an important role in the practice of religion. In ancient civilizations it has been found that the pharaonic rites included music, seen on the tombs of many pharaohs and noblemen. In other religions, such as Judaism and Christianity, people use music as an integral part in theperformance of their worship and religious celebrations.
When religious rituals contain music as a basic element, the use of music becomes set and religiously codified as well. However, in religions that do not clearly mention the use of music, for example, Islam, there are some interpretations that exploit this position and attempt to distort the ancient relationship between music and religion.Although Islam also uses some music, it doesn't form a basic part in its religious rituals. The muezzin (caller to prayer) uses a type of melody in his call. The Quranic recitation is also based on well-studied musical metres, but in a way uncommon in worldly music. The same applies to Islamic religious celebrations, although they consist of free poetry rather than Quranic words. Thus, different...
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