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Induced EEs/EHEs,Techniques
Record Type: Review   ID: 555

Music and Trance: A Theory of the Relations Between Music and Possession

Rouget, Gilbert

 This lucid work is by a French ethnomusicologist. He analyzes the relationship between music and ritual trance using a cross-cultural approach based on his own field studies and those of others. He concludes that there is no universal way of conceptualizing the connection between music and trance. It varies greatly depending on cultural meanings and contexts. The book is useful for the typology of trance he presents, which is based on symbolism and external objectively verifiable manifestations. He points out the fundamental differences between ecstasy and trance, shamanism and spirit possession, and communal and emotional trance. He classifies various forms of trance and show how each is empowered by music at different stages of ritual and in different ways. He concludes that the emotional and physiological effects of music cannot be considered apart from patterns of collective representations and behavior: music and trance are associated in as many different ways as exist cultural structures to contain them. Possession can only be induced by music and dance in a culture that is hospitable to such states/actions. How the latter may be expressed is also culturally determined. Of special interest is his explication of the difference between ecstasy and trance. He singles out several components of each and shows how they are diametrically opposed, with the former being private and the latter public, among other differences.
Publisher Information:Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1985. 398p. Author Index: 390-395; Bibl: 355-368; Chap. notes: 327-354; Discography: 369-370; Ethnic Group Index: 387-389; 3 figs; Filmography: 371; 8 illus; Religions Index: 384-386; Subject Index: 373-383
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