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The following program was originally released in 1967. Like music religion is an integral part of all the cultures of mankind and almost everywhere music plays a part in religious practices. It wouldn't touch that in a bit. Yet though they produce it in a variety of ways and for many different reasons all the peoples of the world have been interested in the. Michigan State University Radio invites you now to a program of music around the world produced and hosted by Martha look. In listening to the music of many different places over the past few weeks we've often noticed how a particular aspect of music may be shared by all peoples but sometimes it's a feature that's common to a specifically limited group of cultures determined by area and historical connections. And sometimes it's a distinguishing characteristic of a specific people. Similarly there are some aspects of religion which are universal or almost so.
There are others which are common to several otherwise separate groups. And then there are features of religion that are unique to particular groups as in the case of music. Religious divisions don't necessarily follow along the exact same lines as linguistic or political divisions. There are often different religions within one country or language group and on the other hand there are also religions which cross cut other boundaries and unite people in many countries. Was unlike the other two religions which began in the Middle East since better around the world Christianity and Islam Judaism has attained world wide distribution more by migration than from proselytizing. Conversion. Was
Jews usually speak the national or regional language of the area in which they live. But in addition like other groups that form units within a larger system they often use a specialized dialect among themselves. The Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe and their descendants are the ones who use the dialect of German enriched with Slavic and Hebrew Hebrew of course is the sacred language of all Jews in the language of the traditional Jewish services. We hear the famous Cantor of the 20s Joseph Rosen who chants and sings in a style that has Eastern European overtones though an orchestra is heard on this recording. The cantor would usually be on a company. Let's compare a bit of a service sung by Sephardic Cantor. This one in Turkey thought. The Sephardim of the Jews of the Mediterranean area who instead of speaking Yiddish speak Ladino
form a 15th century Spanish the Sephardic versions of the Jewish services differ a little from the Ashkenazi versions and there's a difference in the pronunciation of Hebrew. Also as you may notice the musical style of this chant has much in common with the general musical styles of the Mediterranean area. And the numerous cleavage is both major and minor within Christianity and many cultural environments in which it's been adopted lead to the existence of many kinds of Christian music. In fact there's so many interesting and clear examples of adaptations of Roman Catholic and Protestant musics that are available that will save those out for a separate program illustrating cross cultural adaptations. There are several branches of Christianity which are localized in
specific areas outside Western Central Europe. They are often grouped together and called the Eastern Orthodox church and they include the Greek the Russian Armenian and several other national churches. We're hearing the carillon opening a vesper service of the Russian Church. Now the implication by the deacon and priest. And the choir singing the first song bless it is the man who is not walked in
the counsel of the ungodly. Hallelujah. You probably recognize the typical Russian choir supported by the deep bass. And the music of the Eastern Orthodox churches as well as that of Orthodox Judaism would traditionally be unaccompanied. But some groups
nowadays especially in this country have adopted the traditional customs of their church to be more similar to western styles. Another example of this is using female voices in the choirs for instance on some of the recordings whereas traditionally the higher voices would have been young boys or men singing tenor since only males participated in services. The impressive solemn rich Byzantine style of singing which would also be an unaccompanied male choir is still often used in the services of the Greek Orthodox Church. We'll hear a hymn of the Eastern Menton service. It's sung when the people go out into the courtyard of the church to joyfully welcome the resurrection of Christ your resurrection Oh Christ is glorified by the angels in heaven seen on us the scenes to cross this earth to you. Mm. You load the you you
load you the you owe you owe you the you. Or are you the up close you eat the meat loaf loaf you the. The Though both Judaism and Christianity also originated in the Middle East. The religion most associated with that part of the world today is of course Islam. I do hope to be able to let you hear a Muslim call to prayer. But the tape I have turns out to be bad quality five times a day a man called him was in climbs up into one of the graceful spires called minarets which are attached to the Muslim house of worship the mosque and he sings a
call to the faithful to face Mecca and pray. We will however be able to play a bit of a reading from Koran the holy book of the Muslims in their sacred tongue Arabic. Note the carefully exaggerated pronunciation. A similar style of chancing is used in the recitation of a long Turkish poem called Composed by Suleyman charlie b. The poem describes the birth of the Prophet Muhammad the
founder of Islam to whom the Koran was revealed. It's sung to mark such occasions as the end of a period of mourning for the birth of the baby. Show. Me. If you heard the program in which we played flute music from all around the world. You might remember the whirling dervish music the whirling dervishes were the followers of the mess of a sect of Turkish Muslim mystics. Their popular name came from their practice of slowly
spinning around and around to the accompaniment of music such as will be hearing repeating certain inspirational phrases until they attained ecstatic religious experience. With. The method of the Whirling Dervishes is only one of many used by Islamic mystics who called
Sufi for Today's of these mystics were in their heyday all over the Muslim world from the 12th through the 19th centuries. But in recent times they've been officially disbanded in several countries including Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Great numbers of Muslims don't belong to such groups so. This chanting is a group of Malaysians who face who happened to be in South Africa. They're working themselves into trances during which time though pierced their bodies with sharp instruments. They seem to be anesthetized by the religious state the with with it. These are the people of Nigeria
in their villages during which they may. Be an area where they were free. This was recorded in Cuba. I am. Several kinds of concussion instruments a company Japanese Buddhist writes. Here pacing the speed and volume of the chanting of some sacred verses called sutras of
this incident. A large fish shaped slit gongs similar in type to the instrument used in western bands and orchestras to imitate horses with pigs. And this is good. I hammered metal bowl struck by a wooden stick muffled by cloth. This chanting of the new sect is followed by a small drum symbol and a
large drum being struck over and over as a symbol of the belief that door is open. Esoteric learning to
experience. It's a strange combination. Going back to. The pre-surge magic words to make wishes come true. During World War 2 they were ordered by military. Yes.
But. Yeah. Yeah. That was a conch shell with the metal blowing it said that the young priest wearing yellow robes with a square piece of fur tied across a seat on a mountainside. Mountains are a manifestation of the Buddha and therefore holy places. There they searched for training and experience in the voices of nature and when they finally came down the mountain they blew on the conch shell and tried to create paradise among the common people. These women are performing guyI.
Chanting short poems called Walk On. Their pilgrims to a certain temple and they're following a custom that's believed to have begun as early as Century in Japan telling to the pilgrims used to compose the poems during the journey and then they were collected and used at the shrines and temples. Each of the women has a small metal drum and a bell. Is in one of the main religions of the Far East and Southeast Asia actually began in India. The Buddha was an Indian religious reformer from the area that's now Bihar in eastern India. He objected to many of the beliefs and practices of the Indian religion of his day and around the year. 15:00 about 2000 years after the Buddha. Another reformer. This one from the Punjab in the West objected to the religious practices of his time. He was called Guru Nanak and he founded the Sikh religion which is based on a series of ethical teachings enunciated by Guru Nanak and later Sikh leaders traditionally Sikh
men never cut their hair. They were full beards and wrap their head hair into a bun which they took under a large turban. Both the men and the women wear an iron arm bangle. This is a raga of the early morning called a song composed of utterances of Guru Nanak in a poetic form peculiar to the Punjabi and Raja languages. The form is usually used to tell of the heroic deeds of the brave Guru Nanak used to sing the glorious deeds of the Lord creator of the universe. 6 recite this
poem at daybreak. Underlying the principal religion of India Hinduism are the most ancient religious documents. The four sacred Vedas for at least 3000 years these texts have been transmitted orally with little or no change in content. This is assured by a very complicated method of learning the verses which is traditionally incumbent upon all Brahman men. Each sentence is broken down into phrases words even syllables and the student has to be able to say it forwards backwards and inside out in any combination.
For instance a simple three syllable phrase A B C would be practiced. B. ABC NBC CBS and so on. Since the days of early Vedic religion many deities have been incorporated into the Hindu pantheon one of the most important of these is Lord Shiva sometimes characterized as the destroyer. Sometimes the withdrawn ascetic meditating on the mountain top. Some wondering monks
from the Rajputana desert sing of the powerful God in whose hear the Ganges plays in his hand he holds a garland of skulls and day and night he takes his drum roars and the White Goddess sits on his lap and caresses him. There are also many difficulties of the numerous manifestations of that Goddess Sonship as left
here some fishermen in the dross invoke the fisheye goddess name me. Me me. Me. She even his wives are only one main focus of religion among Jews. Vishnu and his
incarnations especially Roman Krishna also have a large following but the bole sect of Bengal all respect neither the Shiva Vishnu difference nor even the gulf between Hindu ism in Islam. A line from the song which follows goes leave your present master of foolish heart and yield yourself to no one service but God's. But. Perhaps no people devoted themselves more exclusively to the service of their god than the Tibetan
Buddhist monks call Lamas. Here are some Tibetans mammas invite the savior of their sect forbidden to visit the place of life. And I invite you to draw you next week to go dancing in various places around the world. Will you. Will. We have presented music around the world with Martin Nicolas producer and
commentator and we invite you to be with us again next week at the same time for music around the world. The owner of this program was produced for Michigan State University Radio originally released in 1967. The program you've just heard is from the program library of National Public Radio.
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Music around the world
Religion and music
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-wm13sm49).
Episode Description
This program focuses on the relationship between religion and music, as heard in songs from around the world.
Series Description
This series, hosted by Marta Nicholas, presents music from all parts of the globe.
Media type
Host: Nicholas, Marta
Producer: Parrish, Thomas (Thomas D.)
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-37-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:42
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Chicago: “Music around the world; Religion and music,” 1967-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “Music around the world; Religion and music.” 1967-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: Music around the world; Religion and music. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from