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Grant number: FA-57231-13

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FA-57231-13

Steven Michael Friedson
University of North Texas (Denton, TX 76203-5017)

Music as Ritual in African Culture

"Being Musical" is the third book of a trilogy on African music and ritual. The central question of the book, as with the entire trilogy, is: How are peak musical experiences in ritual settings possible? Anthropologists and other researchers dealing with ritual studies typically treat music as epiphenomenal, something accompanying other more important ritual activity, rendering silent an important dimension of ritual praxis. Yet, musical experience in rituals found throughout Africa is not ancillary to the proceedings; for much of the ritual time, it is the proceedings. In order to gain an ontological insight into this important dimension of ritual, one must delve further into the musical, or else risk mistaking partial descriptions for more complete ones. To access such a world requires more than ethnography, more than ethnomusicology; it calls for an ontomusicology that engages music as ritual and ritual as music.

Project fields:
Anthropology

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$29,400 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 1/31/2014