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June 9, 2009
Source: Piedmont 2008

Everett, Yayoi
Music

Project Summary

This is a seminar for upper-division undergraduates and will explore aspects of nature and ritual in various Asian musical traditions and contemporary adaptation and transformation of such traditions. In the first part, we will examine how vocal styles and musical instruments used in ritualistic contexts in Asian cultures symbolize different aspects of nature and cosmological principles associated with Buddhism, Shintô religion, Shaminism, Hinduism, and Taoism. The musical traditions and practices we will study in this course include, but will not be limited to: gagaku (court-music tradition of Japan), shômyô (Buddhist chanting), shakuhachi (Zen Buddhism), a-ak (Korean court music), pansori (Korean shamanistic vocal recitation), kecak (Balinese monkey dance), Balinese kebyar gamelan, ceremonial music of Tibetan Buddhism, and Indian Vedic chanting. Music used in such ritualistic contexts often serves as a tool for participants to develop deeper awareness of their connections with nature, environment, and religion or spiritual practice. In the second part, we will explore the various ways in which traditional rituals are transformed by representative artists and composers in the postwar era. More specifically, we will examine how composers such as John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Tôru Takemitsu, and Tan Dun, among others, have incorporated aspects of traditional ritual into their music in order to deepen their aesthetic awareness of natural elements and spiritual forces. As part of their final project, students will be given an opportunity to create a new ritual that incorporates aspects of nature, music, spirituality, and sustainability.




Download: Everett_Yayoi.pdf (183.6 KB)


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