Indigenous Religious Musics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Indigenous Religious Musics

1st Edition

By Graham Harvey

Edited by Karen Ralls-MacLeod


238 pages

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Celebrating the diversity of indigenous nations, cultures and religions, the essays which comprise this volume discuss the musics performed by a wide variety of peoples as an integral part of their cultural traditions. These include examinations of the various styles of Maori, Inuit and Australian Aboriginal musics, and the role of music in Korean Shaman rituals. Indeed, music forms a key component of many such rituals and belief systems and examples of these are explored amongst the peoples of Uganda, Amazonia and Africa. Through analysis of these rituals and the part music plays in them, the essays also open up further themes including social groupings and gender divisions, and engage with issues and debates on how we define and approach the study of indigeneity, religiosity and music. With a complimentary CD featuring some of the music discussed in the book and further information on other available recordings, this is a book which gives readers the opportunity to gain a richer experience of the lived realities of indigenous religious musics.


'This book marks a welcome and innovative addition to a growing list of publications on indigenous religions associated with Graham Harvey…' Journal of Contemporary Religion

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Karen Ralls-MacLeod and Graham Harvey; Te Kaha o te Waiata - the power of music: Maori oral traditions illustrated by E Tipu e Rea, Peter Mataira; From here into Eternity: power and transcendence in Australian Aboriginal music, David H. Turner; Sacred and profane: music in Korean Shaman rituals, Keith Howard; Maasai musics, rituals and identities, Malcolm Floyd; Appeasing the spirits: music, possession, divination and healing in Busoga, Eastern Uganda, Peter R. Cooke; Chasing off God: spirit possession in a sharing society, Jan G. Platvoet; Sounding the sacred: music as sacred site (the search for a universal sacred music), June Boyce-Tillman; Emerging Amazonian peoples: myth-chants, Guilherme Werlang; Structure into practice: a theory of Inuit music, Chrisopher G. Trott; The music of the Mescalero Apache girls’ puberty ceremony, Anne Dhu McLucas, Recordings; CD information, Index.

About the Series

SOAS Studies in Music Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General