Sacredness and World Music

In 2015 I offered a description of world music based it upon my research as a doctoral student. That initial inquiry transformed my view of music in general. Today, that perspective still holds all in all. Moreover, I believe that music generally expressed for the good of humanity is sacred.

“For the purpose of this research, the lens through which sacred music will be defined, employed and analyzed, will be in a culturally-inclusive context with the goal of increasing the understanding of the human condition.

This analytical framework may or may not subscribe to some of today’s customary beliefs about sacred religious expressions, certain cultures or, what constitutes a sacred musical expression. Furthermore, rites, daily rituals, public and/or private ceremonies may or may not be acceptable to more broadly recognizable, universal or widespread traditional concepts about religion or what such institutions deem sacred.

Those select music styles investigated, their usage patterns or genres of sacred music will be, (1) set apart from secular musical expressions, (2) must be originally crafted, (3) are or may be tribally, community or globally shared and (4), are reviewed as a means of increasing our understanding of the other, celebrating and illuminating the ‘good’ in humanity by a specific group of people. This researcher holds that a culture’s traditional roots music, indigenous or folk music, may have profoundly sacred elements within.

This inquiry on sacred music may or may not represent a group’s adherence to more customary sacred or religious norms. In the context of this research, sacred music may or may not be crafted and/or thoroughly-composed for highly established liturgical presentations or public performances.

Additionally, studied sacred musical creations, may or may not follow a pattern of standard musical notation where for example, an elaborate vocal or instrumental compositional structure typically assigned to Eurocentric “classical” composition technique exists. Some of the sacred works considered will likely be rooted in an orally sustained compositional structure unique to many cultures around the world.

Conversely, some of the musical expressions examined that will be considered sacred, may in fact mirror or be linked in some manner to broadly influential religious settings where for example, a free standing edifice, group participation, reverence or devotion to a god(s) or deity(s), exists.”

If the music is designed for “good”, then I hold that it is sacred.