Theorizing Musical Ritual.

Venn, Edward (2010) Theorizing Musical Ritual. In: 13th International Doctoral and Postdoctoral Seminar on Musical Semiotics, 2010-03-072010-03-11. (Unpublished)

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Music has had a long association with ritual practice, and is used to provide a variety of iconic, indexical and symbolic functions within the ritual framework. In its interactions with other ritual objects and actions, music loses its identity as “music” and – from a semantic viewpoint at least – becomes an indivisible part of the ritual whole. The functional nature of ‘ritual’ music means that it is almost never considered from an aesthetic-philosophical viewpoint. Conversely, music that is the focus of such analysis (whether it is ‘art’ or ‘popular’) has rarely been considered from a ritual standpoint. Given the ubiquity of ritual in human (and possibly animal) behaviour, I argue that the possibility exists for its structures and processes to find expression within musical forms. In this paper, I shall outline some of the necessary conditions for ‘ritual thinking’ in music, along with the interpretative opportunities this observation gives rise to.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
13th International Doctoral and Postdoctoral Seminar on Musical Semiotics
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?? M MUSIC ??
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Deposited On:
08 Dec 2010 11:49
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 13:39