Some reminders before we dive in: There are three different kinds of comments you need to make in these online discussions in order to earn full credit. Refer to the assignment description you received in class (also available here). The most effective comments in this kind of forum are concise, clear, and supported. Instead of responding to every conversation question in one comment, try to make shorter, separate comments that allow other people to digest and respond to your ideas.

Online discussion #3 is open for comments February 12-18.


 

In many cultures around the world, music is used in religious settings and rituals. Think about all the reasons you listed that you listen to music the first day of class: to escape, to distract yourself, to hang out with friends, to be entertained, to change your mood—all of these are reasons why people use music to enhance their religious rituals and prayers, too. We’ll look at a few examples of religious music from Western music history (Gregorian chant, organum, and the Reformation and Counter-Reformation)—adding more details to our historical road map from Online discussion #2—plus one example from non-Western music. In each case, music helps make religious events more magnificent or impressive, more powerful or moving, or more communal.

As you’re thinking about these examples of religious music, keep in mind the four big ways that music enhances religious experiences:

  • Practitioners’ faith. Just as we discussed in class the first day, the listener’s mindset is part of what makes a musical experience meaningful, so if a listener goes into the experience with the expectation that they’ll feel more in touch with a higher spiritual power that they believe in fully, that will shape their musical experience.
  • A sense of community. Music brings people together, especially when they’re making music together. Making music with other people is quite an intimate act: you breathe together, focus on the unique sound of another person’s voice or instrument, match your voice to theirs, and feel the vibrations of the sounds you make together in your chest. Music can express a sense of togetherness, make congregants feel powerful and unified, conveys joy about their faith, or show outsiders why their faith is good.
  • The sound of the music. In class last week, we talked about how changes in texture, dynamics, and melodic contour can convey all kinds of ideas, including an attitude of faith, but also joy, power, and excitement. These are all feelings that can enhance a religious experience, as can any other mood that music can convey: fear, darkness, awe, solitude, togetherness… Religious music might also exhibit qualities that allow listeners and music makers to feel connection with a higher power, special knowledge, and a part of themselves that’s otherwise inaccessible via repetitious, hypnotic, or meditative sounds.
  • Flow. What’s that? Keep reading.

Flow

Let’s start by defining what religious experiences can feel like.

Think about a time when you were doing something—anything—and you looked at your clock/watch/phone and realized several hours had passed in what felt like the blink of an eye. Likely whatever you were doing was something that was mentally engrossing, it held your attention, it was enjoyable, it wasn’t so easy that you became bored (and at the same time it was challenging but not frustrating), and it was rewarding in and of itself rather than something you do to make someone else happy (the word for this kind of intrinsically rewarding experience is autotelic).

Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi is a psychologist who has studied the ways in which people experience what he calls “flow” while doing activities that meet these criteria: talking to an interesting conversation partner, reading a book, looking at art, playing chess, athletic competition, or immersion in religious rituals. Even though these are wildly different activities, they all produce flow, a unique kind of positive sensation for the person engaged in them: they stop thinking about themselves in a self-conscious way and no longer have a running inner monologue, they focus on the activity at hand and ignore other distractions, they lose track of time, they feel as if their decisions or actions are inspired or guided rather than having to directly make them happen (like they’re at one with what they’re doing), they’re often aware that their brain feels different while they’re doing this activity (that the feeling the activity produces is special), and overall they feel really, really good because of the activity. Flow is a heightened state of consciousness (meaning it’s not a mental state that you feel at most points in the day and you have to do something to gain access to it). (Csikszentmihalyi has also done an interesting TEDtalk about how you can use the concept of flow to lead a happier life).

Side note: “Heightened state of consciousness” is not the same as “mood” or “emotion.” Cognitively speaking, “normal” mental states consist of our brain functions throughout the day: having a perception, experiencing a sensation, having a recollection, or thinking about something. There are also mental states in which people are not wholly conscious and experience no emotions, such as pathological states like mania, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and catatonia; and emotion-less dissociative states like daydreaming, hypnotic trance, and deep meditation. A heightened mental state is a more intense version of a “normal” mental state in which sensations and perceptions are experienced more intensely and vividly.

Flow isn’t an idea that Csikszentmihalyi invented, and he’s not the only one who’s studied it. Frank Putnam and Karen Nesbitt Shanor (1999) call it a “peak experience” or “Nirvana,” and when they define it the emphasize the peaceful, euphoric feeling that people describe.

“Peak experience states are rewarding because they enable us to just be.  It is not as if they are a means to another end.  They are the end.  The individual does not feel the need to seek something beyond the experience.  There is only the wish to be able to re-experience such a state when it has faded.”

—Frank Putnam and Karen Nesbitt Shanor, “States of Consciousness from Infancy to Nirvana,” in The Emerging Mind, ed. Shanor (Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 1999), p. 71

Flow is an enticing feeling, and it can happen outside of religious contexts. It’s something that I experience on stage performing, at home practicing, while writing, while in front of you guys in the classroom (sometimes!), while cooking, and while having a stimulating discussion with someone whom I find interesting. As a result, these are some of my favorite things to do—they’re enjoyable while they’re happening, they leave me feeling great, and they’re more vivid and inspiring than other things I have to do in my day-to-day life. In turn, I try to do these things as much as possible, since I know that they can put me in a mental state that other activities can’t.

In terms of religion, music is an important part of how people get in touch with special mental states and create a flow experience—it’s one component that contributes to how religion can be a positive experience that gives their life meaning.

Western music history, part 1: Gregorian chant

In Online discussion #2, we read about how many ideas that shape European culture come from Ancient Greece. Another big source for European culture and habits is the Bible, the religious text of Christian faiths. It contains several passages that describe why people of this faith should make music when they praise God:

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

King James Bible, Psalm 150:1-6

 

We’ve already heard some of the earliest music of the Catholic Church, a genre of music called “Gregorian chant.” Recall in Online discussion #2 that monks and nuns spent their days copying manuscripts, completing chores, and praying. Their prayers were sung—not as a performance for an audience, but as a way to unite with each other. Here’s an example:

The text of this chant, Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born), is available here.

We already possess the vocabulary to describe some of Gregorian chant’s characteristic features: monophonic texture, non-metrical rhythms, and cadences at the end of every phrase.

monastery
Sucevita Monastery in the Romanian countryside, built in the 16th century

 

Monks and nuns sang in this style for a few reasons: (1) it’s relatively simple, so even someone who’s not a confident singer can produce these sounds reasonably well; (2) the melodies and texture are simple, so the people singing can focus on what the words mean; and (3) God said to do it this way.

pope gregory dove
Pope Gregory I, receiving melodies from the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove)

That last reason is perhaps a little flippant—but that’s the origin story for this kind of music. Gregorian chant is named for Pope Gregory I (c.540-604), who according to the story was visited by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. This dove sang all the chant melodies to him, and Pope Gregory wrote them down so Christians could sing them. Although this isn’t actually how these melodies came into being, the story lends a sense of power, awe, and magic to the act of singing them—in other words, the weight of faith.

(Gregorian chant actually derives from the Jewish tradition of communal prayers in synagogues, and it ended up spreading across Europe as part of a political effort by Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (742-814), but those are stories for another day.)

Monks and nuns used Gregorian chant as a way to remember all the prayers they sang at various points throughout the day and the year—music served as a mnemonic device. Depending on the liturgical calendar (meaning the time of the lunar year, which includes different seasons like Christmas, Advent, Lent, Ascension, etc.), different prayers should be recited. On top of that, different prayers should be recited at different times of the day—these are called canonical hours. A little math tells us that any one monk would need to remember several hundred prayers, and music helped make that memorization process easier.

CanonicalHours
Canonical hours, the designated times for prayer throughout the day
Liturgical calendar
The liturgical calendar, or the different seasons of the Christian year

Western music history, part 2: Organum

Musical styles change over time, and Gregorian chant gave way to other, more complex styles of religious music. One of these is called organum, and the differences in musical style are an indication of changes in how music was made in the 12th century.

perotin
Pérotin

Here is an example of organum by Pérotin (c.1160-1230), a work called Viderunt omnes (All the ends of the earth have seen):

In comparison with Gregorian chant, this music obscures the words that are being sung—this tells us that something else is more important for people who created this music than just the words. (Side question: How do you think the sound of this piece does bring out or enhance some aspect of the text?)

The differences of style between Gregorian chant and organum also indicate some important changes that affected how music was made: (1) the music is more complicated and more difficult to sing, and therefore it required professional musicians (not just nuns or monks singing for themselves) who were paid to rehearse and sing on behalf of the congregation; and (2) this specific kind of music was sung in a particular building: a large, high-ceilinged, reverberant Gothic stone cathedral, and the sound of the voices was designed to fill that space.

Pérotin composed music for Notre Dame, a cathedral in Paris built 1163-1365:

 

Notre Dame inside4
The inside of Notre Dame is made of stone and features 115-foot high ceilings, perfect for echoes and feeling the power of God all around.

Western music history, part 3: The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation

Music is culture, and the way it’s made reflects what people value or care about. This includes people’s disagreements or arguments.

martin luther
Martin Luther (1483-1546)

When Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church in the 16th century to form their own denomination, one of the first things they did was create a new style of music for their church services (it also helped that their leader, Martin Luther, was an avid amateur musician himself: it’s something that mattered to him, so he made sure it was a part of the worship services he helped design). In Lutheran churches (and other Protestant denominations that emerged later), members of the congregation do the singing themselves—it doesn’t matter if the music sounds good or polished because it feels good to sing as part of a community.

 

Here is a hymn by Martin Luther, Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is Our God), (1528):

 

This music is not very hard to sing, which makes sense since all the citizens of a town, regardless of how musical they were, would be singing. The melodies are repetitious, and the congregation is unified by a homorhythmic texture. Also notice that the Protestant church had no problem with instruments, but the Catholic Church didn’t allow them.

Music is “the excellent gift of God.”

—Martin Luther

 

The Catholic Church’s response was to (1) excommunicate Martin Luther (meaning his soul could never enter Heaven for all of eternity), and (2) revamp their own music making away from organum and more towards a kind of polyphony we’ve listened to in class already. At the Council of Trent, a summit of leaders convened to fix the Catholic Church, the Church created a set of rules its composers (who were its employees) were required to follow when composing music. Here’s an example from Giovanni Maria da Palestrina, and all Counter-Reformation Catholic music is similar: polyphonic, no surprises in melodic contour, a reverent and holy mood, and the words are clearly heard.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1524-95), Pope Marcellus Mass, Kyrie (1567):

 

“[My goal is] to compose … Masses… [so] that the powerful and sweet sound of the voices should soothe and caress the ears of the listeners in a pious, religious, and holy way.”

—Vincenzo Ruffo (1508-87), Catholic Church composer

“I… have considered it my task… to bend all my knowledge, effort, and industry towards that which is the holiest and most divine things in the Christian religion—that is, to adorn the holy sacrifice of the Mass in a new manner.”

—Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1524-95)

Western music history, part 4: After the Counter-Reformation

We’re going to leave Western religious music here in the 16th century—after this point, secular music keeps changing with the times, but religious music isn’t terribly innovative or trend-setting. There are some beautiful pieces of religious or quasi-religious music composed in later centuries, but they’re just following trends set in other genres rather than leading the way. Much religious-inspired music from later periods in Europe captures the awe, power, and magnificence of God rather than a purely meditative, communal, or private experience.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), Requiem, Dies Irae, K.626 (1791)

 

Johannes Brahms (1833-97), Ein Deutsches Requiem (1868)

 

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Messa da Requiem, Dies Irae (1874)

 

Composers continue to make religious classical music in the 20th and 21st centuries, too, adopting the various musical trends that shape their modern world.

Arvo Pärt (b. 1935), Cantate Domino canticum novum (1977):

Beyond Western music history: Shakuhachi

Much religious music doesn’t require an audience; it’s not music that’s performed, just music that’s made. This means that the only person who needs to hear it is the person making it (and, of course, whatever higher power that person believes in). One such example is the shakuhachi.

 

 

The shakuhachi is a Japanese flute made out of bamboo. One of the traditional uses of this instrument was by monks in the Fuke-shū sect of Zen Buddhism. They don’t describe what they do as music at all. They refer to the shakuhachi not as an instrument at all but rather as a hōki (a religious tool)—it is a means to an end.

Practitioners of this faith work to achieve an ideal mental state they refer to as Zen, which they describe as a physical transformation or sensation similar to the idea of flow that Csikszenmihalyi (see above) has studied in musicians of other traditions and non-musicians alike: loss of ego, transcendence of individuality, weightlessness, time dilation, attentional focus, mental clarity, intense pleasure, and a transformed sense of self. The experience is not necessarily a religious one, but most practitioners do describe a sense of communing with or coming into contact with timeless, universal knowledge (through the ironically impermanent medium of sound) and emerging transformed for the better.

People who play the shakuhachi use the instrument as a means to achieve Zen (players call it suizen, or “Zen that comes from blowing”). Making a sound on a shakuhachi at all is a difficult task (required intense concentration, one of Csikszentmihalyi’s criteria for flow), and players focus on controlling gradual, subtle changes in the quality of sound they make. Through years of study, they become more in tune with their bodies, become more intimately aware of the feeling of air moving through the instrument, and become more sensitive listeners—the control and awareness they develop are all ways to get closer to a Zen state of mind. Shakuhachi players regard suizen not as a momentary occurrence, instantaneous revelation, or passing goal, but rather as an ongoing process or lifestyle because it causes a permanent transformation of the self.

“The biggest joy of all to be found in the shakuhachi, however, is in the actual playing.  To describe it to someone who doesn’t play the shakuhachi is almost impossible, even more so when he plays no musical instrument at all.  For example, how would a bird explain to a human how it feels to fly?  With that in mind, I shall try to describe my feelings while playing any musical instrument.  There are times, rare indeed, when I’m playing along, and suddenly it seems that I’m not playing at all.  That is, everything seems to go on automatic.  My fingers continue to move, my lips adjust themselves properly, but my conscious self seems to be sitting to the side watching it happen, listening to the music with extreme pleasure.  And maybe once or twice during the five years I have played the shakuhachi, even the consciousness of the listener seemed to disappear.  Everything disappeared.  All that remained was the music of the shakuhachi.  Pure, timeless and eternal.  How does it feel to fly?”

—Riley Lee, “An American looks at the shakuhachi of Japan: 1 April 1986,” in The Annals of The International Shakuhachi Society, Vol. 1, ed. Dan Mayers, p. 114

 

This is a kind of music that isn’t intended for any audience—it doesn’t matter if anyone else is around to hear the sounds of the instrument (or even if the sounds are any good!). The purpose of playing is for the shakuhachi player himself (women didn’t traditionally play this instrument) to enter into a heightened mental state and return to the real world a better, more enlightened person. As an added bonus, for those who happen to be listening, the sounds are beautiful, as well!

 

Final thoughts

The idea of music having the ability to create transcendent experiences—something beyond the typical human experience, that lifts you out of the physical world, and in which you feel a connection with God, the universe, or something equally cosmic—is something that’s found in many different musical styles around the world. The fact that many different human experiences in different times and different places share the same sensation is part of why I enjoy studying music: it underscores our humanity despite our differences. We can feel a sense of kinship or connection to people whose lives are quite different from our own because we understand how music makes someone feel.

-Dr. J.

Some questions to get the conversation started

Don’t feel like you have to answer all or any of these, they’re just here to, well, get the conversation started!

  • Describe a time that you had a flow experience: what were you doing that triggered it, and how did it feel?
  • Which would be the most important thing to you for a meaningful religious experience: your faith, a sense of community, sound of the music, or having a flow experience?
  • How have you seen or experienced music in the context of another religious faith (i.e., not Christianity or Zen Buddhism)?

 

 

 

131 thoughts on “Music and religion (Online discussion #3)

  1. Music is such a powerful tool, over the past weeks on this blog I have seen how much Music affects just everything in our daily lives from Education, The brain and now Religion. The thing that stood out to me most from this reading is the part that says “Much religious music doesn’t require an audience; it’s not music that’s performed, just music that’s made.” This is very interesting because I think nowadays it’s not like this anymore, music is being performed and not only being made, just crazy as time goes by Music changes.

    Like

  2. I remeber the day when i played open season with my daughter on play station. We started at noon and end up at night when i saw behind the curtains it was totally dark. i totally didnt realize the time and forgot to cook food.When i read flow in the article this day pops up in my mind.Some times we get so much inolved in things our minds dont see any thing else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree you can totally zone out and loose your relationship with space and time. Sometimes when I practice playing the piano hours past and I don’t even notice because I am so engaged with what I am doing.

      Like

  3. My question is when we r in a flow how our brain can neglect our surroundings i mean its a very strong muscle.

    Like

  4. I never knew the technical term of what it was when u get lost in the music and everything just becomes desolate around you until learning about flow. I feel this is something that everyone can relate too listening to a song or album you indulge in. Aside from that i also found it interesting how monks had to remember several hundred prayers and used music to help make the process easier, this really amazed because sometimes i feel that can help with certain study habits such as possibly making a little song out of a math formula or something like PEMDAS just to remember the formula. its crazy how music constantly contributes to everyday life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hi @rwhite22 I think a dove because it represents and symbolizes fidelity with is loyalty like the fidelity of the bride. the dove is faithful always so I think in christian and in jewidiasm its sort of like a holy symbol hope I answered your q.:)

      Like

    2. The Bible relates the moment after Jesus was baptized heavens were opened and the Spirit of God descended as a dove lighting on Him. Matthew 3:16

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I would say I get a flow experience whenever there is a good song at an event or at a party and I start to dance. Just listening to a specific type of music can make me want to dance and I won’t be focused on anything else but the music. Without thinking about what I’m doing, or worrying about anything, I just have fun dancing listening to great music. That’s definitely one of the greatest things about music, on how you can forget certain things and just focus on the music and enjoy your self.

    Like

    1. I totally agree with you when i hear music specialy loud music i get out of control,basically i dont know how to dance like i never learnt it but on my brother wedding i danced a lot and when i saw the pics a was surprised
      i danced a lot.It was a kind of flow experience.sometimes its embarrasing what do you think.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve never related to something more, I definitely lose myself into the music and forget all my surroundings, kind of weird but It happens without even a second thought, pretty much subconsciously.

      Like

  6. “Peak experience states are rewarding because they enable us to just be. It is not as if they are a means to another end. This quote really stood out to me because it is really true, this is a quote that i really stand by.

    Like

    1. Hello arid187 I agree with you flow is definitely about feeling and dancing to the song I tend to do that a lot too.

      Like

  7. what interested me the most about music in connection to religion is how it shows music is really for everyone. no matter the religion of faith you believe in it shows you a different turn besides for the usual I like listening because its fun and gets me in good moods but also the spiritual connection it gives you it makes you feel infinitely closer to gd it gives you a sense of connection a sense of peacefulness. you see through these passages different religions that explain what it does for them and how they use music as a connection to belief like the Catholic Church allowed singing but no insturments to them thats the closest way to be next to gd and spiritual. but the protestant church felt musical instruments brings you close. music is a way to unify and bring you close to your peers but also gd. most religions tend to feel that also.another thing interesting about what I read is how the Japanese culture used a special flute that gave them zen that was the ultimate sensation of being closest to gd so you see through these passages the different ways music has been used for hundreds of years.

    Like

  8. my question is it explained how music was sung particularly in a high ceiling church to fill the space but what was the significance of that you could sing in any church and hear the songs that are being sung if its loud enough?

    Like

  9. Either in our brain, emotions or spirit, certainly music influence people in any of those areas.
    Interesting fact that from the beginning of time music is a way/bridge through people can either relieve/express/share a feeling, moments or story, as also a connection either with their soul or faith. Either in a religious perspective (any religion) or in daily basis what makes a piece meaningful apart from the instruments or their sound, are the word (lyrics) that speaks the essence of what is the piece about and I think this is what takes people to flow in any piece. Asking for mercy or exalting a good quality, with or without instruments, all religions use music as a connection with their faith, either through instruments or only voice.

    Personally speaking, for me the most important/meaningful experience behind music, is with my faith. For me, music (worship music) and prayers are the bridge between man and God. Any song, when I worship God with my heart is where flow with the music. I can feel each word and lose my self in time and space.

    Like

  10. After reading through Western music history, part 3: The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. I wanted to find out a little more information on the history of Martin Luther’s excommunication. On January 3, 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated the German priest Martin Luther. This meant Luther was no longer a recognized member of the Catholic Church.Society, National Geographic. “Martin Luther Excommunicated.” National Geographic Society, 20 Nov. 2014, http://www.nationalgeographic.org/thisday/jan3/martin-luther-excommunicated/. Luther had been warned that his views may lead to his excommunication, and refused to recant them. After his excommunication, the church demanded he further defend his views at a meeting in Worms, Germany—the so-called “Diet of Worms.” Luther again refused to recant, allegedly saying, ” Here I stand. I can do no other.” Society, National Geographic. “Martin Luther Excommunicated.” National Geographic Society, 20 Nov. 2014, http://www.nationalgeographic.org/thisday/jan3/martin-luther-excommunicated/. Here is a link to the article https://www.nationalgeographic.org/thisday/jan3/martin-luther-excommunicated/.

    Like

    1. I’m not a scientist so obviously I’m not in the position to give a definitive answer, but based on my limited research, its very possible that music does have healing properties! According to Harvard Health Publisihing, music therapy has many benefits that include aiding in pain relief and diminishing the side effects associated with chemo. I linked you in case you want to take a deeper look.
      https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/healing-through-music-201511058556

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Music is essentially just the experience of vibrations and sounds that people go through with all the different elements and it plays a role for sure in everyone’s lives one way or another, speaking from my experience my answer would be yes of course but it’s not necessarily just a one answer type of question of course. But I’ve also come across music tuned to 432 Hz as well as 528 Hz, it’s significance is that our standard music is tuned to 440 Hz but music tuned to 432 Hz is supposed to transmit beneficial healing energy and 528 Hz is supposed also associated with DNA repair but I’ve read comment sections on Youtube videos of this type of music and I see responses that tell me that these frequencies have a positive effect on us. In addition, this music would also be typically be used in association with meditation.
      If you’re interested you can use this linkhttps://attunedvibrations.com/432hz/ as a starting point for research.

      Like

        1. Vibration music can definitely can help you take your mind off of things and help center yourself. But, I’m not sure that using it to repair DNA is possible.

          Liked by 1 person

    3. I personally believe it does. Music is found everywhere , including hospitals where it is used to help patients recover faster. I currently work at NYU orthopedics where I see music being used on a daily basis to help engage patients. Doctors have studied the effects music has on the body and brain which happens to be beneficial for us. Therapist also use music to help patients improve memory, speech and spelling, and/or physical movement by dancing. Have you ever been in a down mood and listened to a certain type of music that uplifts you? I consider that ” healing a bad mood ” . So I will agree that music has healing powers .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @stephmills43 I think you make an excellent point about the relation of music and mood. There are music types for every type of emotion you’re feeling, ex. jealousy, love, excitement, anger, etc. People tune into certain music when they’re feeling a certain way to accompany their mood, and know they’re not alone. The effects you stated about the improvement of speech patterns and physical movement are new to my ears, but I am not surprised at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. when i stated speech , i meant .. speaking , talking , pronouncing words . for example , at work therapist make music by singing or making songs of letters and words to patients who probably had an stroke. the beat and rhythm makes it easier for the patient to remember the certain word or letter associated with that certain beat or rhythm. and as far as physical movements , if music was playing , it makes it a bit easier for them to participate than without any music .

          Like

      2. I agree with this point and the fact that music has done so much for people and their lives. It’s powerful in many ways and healing peoples issues is one of the most powerful ways I think music could affect you. When people are down I would see how a song could uplift someone or make someone feel less alone in their situation. Music is very impactful for those who want to feel something through what they are listening to. I have always wondered if there was people out there that have never been touched by a song or related to music before?

        Like

        1. I’ve thought about the same thing. First, the deaf came across my mind. Being that they cannot hear , wouldn’t it be difficult to relate to any type of music. Then I came across an amazing soul , Mandy Harvey, she’s deaf due to an illness but that didn’t stop her from learning music through vibration and with practice found the perfect pitch for her voice. She is just absolutely amazing. Take a look ..

          Liked by 1 person

    4. I think music does have healing powers and I think it should be considered more as a healing power espically for people with autism and Alzheimer’s. Also, other patients could benefit with music I think it would make the situation a little less daunting and just comfort a person who is feeling anxious.

      Like

    5. To answer your question I do believe music has the power to heal. maybe not so much physically then mentally. Reason behind this is that music is something that is made from the heart from instrumental, to lyricism. Music has the power to heal people in time of pain and sorrow. Music makes it possible for some people to have hope and faith from gospel music or for something more aggressive like rap or heavy metal. Music can bring joy into peoples lives and thats why i believe music does have the power of healing.

      Like

  11. Music has always been part of culture. The way it was made reflects the values of the people who made it.Another defining factor in culture is religion. Many religion participate in the use of music during religious gatherings.Music can be used to bring people together. It is used so people feel a deeper connection with other around them and to whichever Deity they worship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quote by Friedrich Nietzsche: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

      Is hard to imagine if life without music. If that happen, I think language will lost half of the charm.
      Try to looking back with our life, Music always accompany us.
      The function of music in life is multi-faceted
      Music can enrich people’s minds
      Music can also be used as a treat in everyday life.
      Is hard to said without music humans will be extinct.
      But sure
      Life will become more negative and repressive.

      Like

    2. Good question.
      Cultures would be so bland without a musical influence. Music has so much life in it. There wouldn’t be any spice if society didn’t have music in its culture.

      Like

  12. Regarding the topic of flow, if I understand the concept correctly, I think I’ve experienced flow many times and didn’t even realize. Sometimes when I’m reading a really good book I get very engrossed in it and end up reading the whole book in one setting without even noticing that I’ve done so!

    Like

  13. A lot of religions out there and a lot of music. I have nothing against any beliefs , I respect everybody as long as its reciprocated. I say this because personally I’m not a very religious person. I more so believe in the universe. When it comes to music, I believe that there are certain frequencies of energy that music brings about. I believe the energy in music can depict both a positive good feeling or a melancholic negative feeling. I feel as though this relates to flow also. For example, when you are interested something, all of your energy is focused on it consciously and subconsciously, you are engaging in the activity with intent and happiness. Your energy levels are higher and in-tuned with what you are passionate about. On the other hand, when your not really engaged in an activity and it feels forced , you’re probably not so focused,constantly looking at the clock or thinking about something else. In this case, the energy given off is probably not so upbeat but more so negative or you feel anxious. Actually, I have been to a catholic church (you know when your parents make you go as a child) and I could remember just sitting there, looking at the clock, not into the music, thinking about what I’m going to eat after, ETC. I was totally not engaged which is the complete opposite of flow. But when I had baseball games or practices , I was always focused , very engaged, always ready for the next play and the different possibilities and before I knew it, time was up , this is what i relate to flow.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. As someone that likes to write their own songs and such, I’d say it’s one of the things I feel relates to having a flow experience. I remember two hours passed by the last time I wrote something.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A flow experience happen in my life many time, for example when I playing with my friends; completely focused on doing something; taking a class with a good professor.
    It make me feel good, the feeling always positive.
    But my question is , will it happen in when we have suffering or have negative feeling?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To answer your question, I think that we can have a flow experience while being upset or going through a negative experience. For example, when people get upset, some of the coping mechanisms they use can be doing yoga, listening to music, or doing their favorite hobby. While doing these experiences, sometimes they take a minute to themselves and suddenly the world stops revolving around them and in the moment they feel stress free and happy. It may not necessarily solve their problems, however, they still feel that flow experience regardless being upset.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. i would say not just one time i felt flow but whenever i feel flow is when im producing on my own time, it really does feel autotelic because i couldn’t recall where the time had flew. i was into it and just regularly enjoying what i do and i actually find it interesting that there is a name for when something like that happens because i
    never knew that. But about the zen and the instrument made of bamboo why was it typically not played by women if it was played to better yourself ? were women not able to feel as if they want to better themselves

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Michael
      Reading your post made me want to find out more information on the subject of women and the Shakuhachi. I found an article with a study on women and the Shakuhachi. Here is a link to the article http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol12/iss2/fabrique.html. Here is an excerpt from the article ” in this paper I examine the social construct of gender as manifested in traditional Japanese music, through the lens of contemporary shakuhachi (bamboo flute) performance, teaching and creative work done by Japanese women. Historical concepts of gender, in which representative male or female characteristics are extended to musical performance, are investigated to uncover processes of change in performance contexts.” Martha Fabrique, Our Lady of the Lake University. “New Horizons: Women and the Shakuhachi.” Ejcjs – New Horizons: Women and the Shakuhachi, Electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, 1 May 2012, http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol12/iss2/fabrique.html.

      Liked by 3 people

  17. A few days ago, a friend recommended me a few pieces of music for a Japanese musical group just pop up in Chinese social network.
    Kissaquo, they put Buddhism music into pop music. it surprised me.

    This is not the first time I have heard this kind of music
    Earlier time, I also hear about another musical group put Buddhism music into electronic music.
    テクノ法要(I can not find the English name for it)
    It is great music experience for me(than one I post the link), I Replay it for several hours.
    But seems I am not a religious person,I also have some question below:
    If their religious music contact with with pop music
    How about a religious person think about this?
    And how about a person from other religious think about this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always find it interesting whenever, I see other religions using pop music to spread the word. I’m catholic so, growing up I would often hear a lot of christian pop songs. However, whenever I heard an a different genre of religious I found it fun to listen to. It would never even feel like you’re listening to a religious song so, it would be a great way of spreading the faith. For example, https://youtu.be/SN76eL5S8W0 this is a video of a Christian/Catholic Rap Artist. It’s so, easy to listen to for hours on repeat.

      My question would be where might someone draw a line in what to include into a song?

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I feel like this flow experience can go beyond music, however music is a great foundation for it. By this I mean, an athlete can be in their zone, running the football with the only focus is getting to the end zone and the crowd is roaring but not heard by the athlete because they’re in their zone. Similar to the flow experience musicians have. That analogy Riley Lee used in trying to describe a flow experience in comparison to a bird telling a human how to fly is exactly how I feel. Playing percussion is not something I do because I have to. Its something that I do because I want to, because I feel myself in a state of flow. The beauty of percussion is that if you find yourself to drift of the melody, you’re able to improvise and pick yourself back up by playing a constant beat. When I have played the conga drums for long periods of time with family, I have found myself listening to everything else around me like the timbales and the cow bell and the bongos, and my hands are just moving and I feel like the rhythm throughout and its simply amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. The question I pose is: Can two people have the same flow experience? Lets say two people were playing the shakuhachi together, playing the same melody. Can they experience the same flow? If not, what do you think makes their flow experiences unique? Their past experiences and how they relate to the melody perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People could go into flow at the same time but their experiences will be different unless they’re identical twins or conjoined twins maybe. Their different flow experiences are unique because of the ride they go on during that flow, and where their body/mind visits. IE: suppressed memory or first love.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Some of the most profound examples of flow that I have experienced was while doing a Savasana (Corpse Pose) in my Yoga classes that I have taken at QCC. The Yoga professor using tranquil calm music would guide us into a state of deep relaxation where I felt as if I was floating in a state of deep relaxation and I would lose sense of time. The whole process would only take about ten minutes. When the bell would ring I would snap back into a fully awakened state. I felt rejuvenated and full of energy. I would look at the clock and be amazed that it had only been about ten minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Since music connects people within their cultures, would not having music affect a specific culture? Will people still feel united without music?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @kcatagua19
      I believe that while some people would feel united solely in their beliefs, music definitely facilitated the culture in order to make tasks like worshiping at certain hours more enjoyable and appeal to a greater crowd of people so they would gain followers.

      Like

    2. I don’t know what specific culture it would affect and I’m sure there is one out there. To your question I feel people can still be united without music due the fact that there is sports and food, which always brings people together, due to playing together for a goal or eating together enjoying each other’s company.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I can relate to the feeling of flow. I’ve experienced the state while reading. I find enjoyment in reading which i believe is my trigger, especially while on the train. I get so lost in books that sometimes I miss my stop. I notice a sense of higher conscience and a feeling of high energy ‘ flowing ‘ through my whole body , especially reading something informational. Sometimes , I hear a ringing sound in my head or feel my pulse beating stronger. It feels like my body is reacting to every word that is read. So , whenever I’m in a down mood, I’ll just pick up a book because I know i will read until i get to that state of flow. I believe the state of flow and the person’s faith goes hand in hand. First , because you’re setting your expectation to fully engage yourself in the activity, which can range from reading to listening to music and beyond. Second, your mindset plays a huge part with the musical experience that you’ll have. For example , someone who is passionate about music or wanting to learn music than someone who ” doesn’t care ” or ” doing it because its required “. Many train they’re minds to ADAPT to something they aren’t passionate about ,while others TEACH their minds the information needed for their passion.

    So with that being said , Lets imagine we’re attending church together and they’re praying and singing , My question is , Do you believe everyone is experiencing the same musical experience ?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Coming from a Catholic background, I grew up singing hymns in a choir style where the whole church got involved singing to the accompaniment of one piano. Later on in high school I attended a Presbyterian church where the type of music was drastically different. It was modern music with a praise team of two acoustic guitars, one electric guitar, an electric keyboard, drums, a bass and two singers. They lead the songs and the rest of people were the accompaniment. The difference in religions may be the cause, but I feel like the modern churches that are willing to adapt to the times and appeal to younger generations will be the ones to succeed in the long run. Despite the differences between the two styles however, the common theme was that they both evoked a sense of unity and had the same message of worshiping God.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. My question is: Why does Western religious music reflect a sense of unity among worshipers while others like Japanese Zen Buddhism reflect a personal journey even though the cultures are reversed in the sense that Japanese/Asian social norms value society or the group over the individual, and Western social norms like America value individuality and pursuit of personal gain?

    Liked by 2 people

  25. The “flow experience,” is something that caught my attention as I believe that everyone has reached this state of mind at one point in their life. For me this feeling of nirvana comes whenever I am playing sport. When I used to play baseball in high school, my competitive edge would go into full effect. I wanted to win of course, and this urge to win made the game mentally stabilizing and I enjoyed every second. Even though, we did not always win, the challenge never seemed insurmountable and I always believed we had a chance. This hobby brings on different feelings for me, personally than going to a concert, or reading a book. Everybody is different and has their own things that bring them into the flow experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The most important thing for a meaningful religious experience through music for me is my faith. I feel like if your mindset is not 100% focused and faithful to the particular religion, your mind and ears will reject the true meaning of the music. Whereas if you are a strong believer in your faith, the music will mean more to your and flow through you more smoothly. For example me listening to a piece of music from the Hindu religion will mean nothing to me because I have no previous faith in that belief system. You have to listen to music with a certain mindset in order to fully understand the body of work.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I’ve experienced flow a couple of times but I never knew it was called flow. I would say when I’m doing a sneaker project I tend to zone out until I finish it. Whether it’s regluing a sneaker, repainting a sneaker, or customizing a pair of sneakers. What tiggers it is, I always hate starting a project and then putting it to the side so I tend to want to start and finish as as possible. Kinda like a self accomplishment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A question I have is if the shakuhachi is a “reglious tool” can anybody play it? Or is it disrespectful if someone who isn’t from the reglion plays it?.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @ erv111 i don’t believe that it is disrespectful if someones plays it that isn’t from the religion, and i think that anyone could play anything including that but i just think that its more suitable for people that are of the religion to play the shakuhachi. and i think that people of that religion are more familiar with it and are more accustomed on the way to play it than most people.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree @nicholasl98 . I don’ t think it’s disrespectful but, it’s most likely as you said something that requires the knowledge of worshipers or monks/priests of the religion. It would be interesting to be able to hear that sort of instrument in some sort of song for something other than a prayer.

          Like

  28. For me, music is so touching in many different ways. Music helps you and it can distract you from what you are going through. Music can be entertaining and it also changes your mood. By making music, it can bring people together and it is found everywhere. Religious music can make us connect with music because of the way it is conduct and the sound of the music

    Like

    1. With religious music it almost always directed towards some higher being or mentions a higher being constantly. Pushing out some sort of message or point. With non-religious music it can at times be about absolutely nothing. The song would simply be just made just because, it sounded good to the artist. For example, instrumental songs at times are simply made because, it sounds good.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I think that music around the world and in religion vary depending on which religion and region one lives in. Different peoples cultures have different ways of conveying their music and the style and tone of their music. while others have a more toned down and self dependent styles of music, others have music in which it speaks to the mass of people and it is more open and shows a certain togetherness, so it is interesting to see the different kinds of variations in music based on difference in religion and in region.

    Like

  30. According to Mihalyi people experience what he call “flow” which is something we do while talking to something interesting or having an interesting conversation, or reading a book. For me personally I think I would experience flow when I am doing homework because I won’t pay attention to anything else except for what I am doing.

    Like

    1. Same here. As I do this assignment right now, my mom asked if I was watching church on my computer. She came in and repeated the question because she didn’t receive a reply. I was in my scholar flow and didn’t even hear her talking to me. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  31. My question is why does music have a sense of togetherness and self dependency based on certain types of religion? and why do people use music in religion to convey their beliefs and their ideas ?

    Like

  32. I’m pleased to learn that when I would go in a trance, I am experiencing flow. I’ve caught myself multiple times wondering how I missed the exit, how come this task isn’t completed yet, did I really miss all these texts- due to the fact that I was in my musical flow. Totally am sharing this term because my friends never understand where all my time goes lol. Having a flow experienced is a whole bunch of happy emotions for me. I’m energized, goofy, hyper, hot, relaxed and more playful. People in my house enjoy catching me in moments as such, cause I’m always inviting them to come join me and like experience my euphoria.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you. some music is so soothing, and so powerful that sometimes you get lost in it. good job, well done.

      Like

  33. My question is , do you guys limit yourselves completely and avoid listening to certain kinds of genres specifically because of your religious beliefs?

    Like

    1. I used to not listen to hip hop because I believed that that sort of music can have a negative impact on me even if I might not notice it. But I changed my point of view on that.

      Like

    2. I certainly don’t limit myself due to my religious beliefs. I like to listen to all genres and I believe that religion shouldn’t limit what you listen too.

      Like

  34. I have seen music in the context of another religious faith. My father once spoke at a Christian/Baptise like church. Once he was done, we stayed for the rest of the service and their music choice was much more louder, and hyper than what I was used to- being that I am Roman Catholic. It was interesting to see how another denomination practiced their faith but it wasn’t something I was too interested in participating in.

    Could a member of a different church experience flow similar to how I would in my church ?

    Like

    1. I definitely understand how the difference is hard to adjust to. Everyone normally participates somewhat in the music while “praising with a song”. In African cultures they use more louder and upbeat music and sometimes move around and dance. It’s a form of release and rejuvenation to celebrate the sabbath day.

      Like

  35. Being a athlete, a flow is a different feeling because you can’t do no wrong and everything is working in your favor, but I can’t get into a flow without having music to play before a game, also a musician a flow can touch me and you are just in your own world and it just you and rhythm of the people clapping and stomping their feet and the church is in sync with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Martin Luther said that the Catholic Church did not allow instruments. Why were they against the use of instruments?

    Like

  37. amirvil12 To answer your question, I believe people from a different church can experience a flow because gospel music or church music gives off a spiritual flow and when there a flow people come together.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. To answer your question i believe flow is something that can be in your mental state because i did experience flow by listening to an azan which i did not pay attention to the time or anything else i enjoyed it with pleasure and was fond of it.

        Like

  38. I believe that music in each religion is appreciated differently. I’ve been to different kinds of church’s and Christians of different cultures listen to different kinds of “gospel” music. Also, besides the religious aspect music therapy is really popular and a form of self help. I remember this whenever I feel impatient and start to lose control of my temper… Mozart’s helps a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Something I found interesting was how heightened state of consciousness” is not the same as “mood” or “emotion.” The whole idea idea of experiencing music at a greater sense in this state of mind amazes me. The ”peak” experience is also peculiar, the idea that once you have experienced the highest point you are at peace. One does not need to go above that experience and just has the pure desire to relive the same experience. The way this relates to music when we hear a song we like and reach the peak of our enjoyment we want nothing but to hear it again and relive that experience. Another interesting aspect about these week’s online discussion was the way catholic churches were built with high ceilings for the sound not to escape and fill the space was a clever fact i did not know about. I took art history last semester and know some of significant differences between Romanesque and Gothic churches but did not know that was one of the reasons Gothic churches had high ceilings.

    Like

  40. Through this article, I can clearly understand the differences between modern music and religion music. People is using the certain instruments and melody for religion. It’s formed a concept that certain instruments in people’s mind when they think about certain religion. For example, my family is Buddhism and I’d listening some Buddhism music since I was child. They used to using the instruments that only for Buddhism songs and melody, so I formed concepts for Buddhism music and certain instruments that they use in music; when I think about Christian music in my mind, there always emerge picture that people wearing black and white clothes, singing slowly with the instrument which looks like tiny piano.(^_^) So different religions have certain instruments for their own music sounds.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. My question is how often can you experience flow while listening to the same song over and over again ? will the effect change over time because you are too accustomed to it.

    Like

    1. I’d say it’d depend on the song and what you’re doing. You know how some people can watch the same movie and have the same amount of excitement and wonder as when they’ve first watched it, I’d guess that would be the same for music. But i do believe you would grow tired of listening to the same piece of work over and over again, i read from a website not so long ago that we do grow tired of listening to our favorite songs and I’ve also read from a different forum that since we listen o over and over again our brain starts to recognize wants going on and whats going to happen next. I’d argue that some pieces of music are like a very nasty drug habit, you grow to have some tolerance to it but once that that tolerance is gone you’re going to have to up your dosage or wait for awhile and have a somewhat similar experience as you did the first time.
      The Website: https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2013/05/02/180558872/we-get-mail-what-to-do-when-youve-burned-out-on-your-favorite-music
      The Forum: https://www.quora.com/What-happens-in-the-brain-when-you-get-tired-of-a-song-after-listening-to-it-a-lot-Is-it-the-same-function-that-makes-you-no-longer-notice-a-sensation-after-a-while-like-a-smell-or-the-sound-of-a-fan
      I hope you find what you’re looking for!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think it’ll take a while after listening to the same song over and over again that it will start to lack luster. People will get too accustomed to the same song. I know I get that way when I find a really great song and just listen to it on repeat after a couple of days it gets boring. I already know the song, I know the words, I know when the beat is going to drop (sometimes know the dance moves) but you can only go through it for so long. I think that great moment though when you stop listening to a really great song for a while and then you hear it and those memories of listening to the song on repeat just kind of flash back into your mind and it becomes this really great moment again, sort of like a flow.

      Like

  42. 1) Usually when i play a sport like soccer with friend hours pass by, sometimes we’re playing for so long we forget we’re even tired, and i believe that’s all to the amount of time spent just having fun. I remember playing dodgeball when i was a little kid, it was my first time, i had such a blast the whole time that when it ended the whole period of class was over, I was out breath but i wasn’t the whole time felt like i was in a state of euphoria.

    Like

    1. I really like that you used the term “Euphoria”. I truly believe that this is the feeling that we all get when we are doing something we love or genuinely enjoy. To make a musical connection, I think this is what drives us to go to a concert or listen to a certain song. It is the rush of euphoria that we get we when are lost in the flow.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. The most interesting facts I found within this article is the contrasting ideas between modern music and religious music. It’s important to note how they group these types of music. For example, modern music could be seen as music for used for entertainment and creatively expressing one’s self. Religious music on the other hand is interpreted differently as a means to honor a higher power or a way to pay tribute to the religion itself. Looking deeper into this, the types of instruments and even the tempo of the music can easily be distinguished between the two types of music. Another interesting aspect of this reading is the introduction of the term “Flow”. In my own interpretation of this idea, I believe that flow merely refers to the concept of being lost in whatever you were doing. I’ve experienced this feeling many times through reading an interesting story or playing an addicting video game. It is interesting that when Flow was being talked about in the article, it made sure that it showed that it isn’t restricted to just the boundaries of music. It used an example where it was able to tell the readers that being lost in a book, or a conversation could still be considered flow, just like how being lost in a great song.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. A question that I have is when does “Flow” stop being a good thing? At what point do we consider flow to become an unhealthy addiction and not just a passion or getting lost in time?

    Liked by 2 people

  45. I remember a time in my life, where I was really into reading books, especially the ones that had 500 pages or more. I would stay up all night to read and finish the book that I would be so immersed in what I was reading that I wouldn’t realize it was daytime and I had to go to school. It was in those moments where nothing else matter more than finishing that book and when I did finish I felt really proud of myself and happy.

    Like

  46. I think the most important thing for me to have a religious experience is flow because flow is a positive sensation that allows one to feel something enjoyable and pleasing, if you don’t have flow it is quite impossible for one to enjoy the religious experience also you lose a sense of what your doing, so flow is the most important thing to have a religious experience because your only paying attention to whats in front of you, your not paying attention to anything else. One time i had a flow experience was when I was in Turkey in a mosque one person was singing something called an azan in that time all I was focused on was the azan how elegant and beautiful it was. I’ve never heard of something like that before i wasn’t thinking about myself or noticed that time has passed i was just happy listening to the azan. Which brings me back to say that flow is the most important thing to have a religious experience because all you are doing is paying attention to what is at hand your not focused on your self or anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. My question is if i experienced flow from listening to someone sing which is mental state could it be true that you do not need to do a physical condition to experience flow?

    Like

  48. When I was younger I used to go to Catholic Church a lot (upon my mom’s demands and passive aggressive comments). Even though I really didn’t like going and wasn’t exactly a believer, I like the fact that the people there were kind and helpful. There was a youth choir group I joined that would always try to raise money for not just the church, but also for the people that would come for the food drive. Because of that I think my religious experience became meaningful with knowing there was a sense of community.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. When I read this it reminded me of videos I’ve seen online of people in masses and prayer sessions doing these huge expressions of chanting and speaking tongues while praying. I got that thought when I was reading the passage about the “Gregorian Chant” because it’s somewhat like that in a way I guess. Although they are done in front of an audience, they do unite each other together. The form together and start praying together in unison almost like a chant. It’s an amazing display of their faith and spirituality. I think about how music is there in the background to aid and support the spiritual journey and makes it an overwhelming display of emotion and expression.

    My question would be do you consider this to be a display of flow?

    Like

  50. The shakuhachi is indeed an unbelievably beautiful instrument to listen to. I was listening to hip hop music while reading the post and after playing the video of the man playin the shakuhachi, I could feel these tingling sensations rushing to my skin and my scalp. Like the Monks and nuns used Gregorian chant as a way to remember all the prayers, students back in my country sing their class notes as a way to help them memorize them and man does it work. We could easily memorize a 2 page poem in just a day just by repeating it over, over, and over to a tune that we are familiar to. Music really does play a big part in a lot of things whether we realize it or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Coming from a religious standpoint I never knew that music had played such a big affect on the time before and after Jesus Christ was born and the song had multiple singers singing the same tune one high and one low.

    Like

  52. I’ve experienced flow plenty of times throughout my life. From hanging out with my bestfriends to studying for an upcoming exam. I was so busy and invested into what I was doing that so much time past by and I wish I could experience what I was feeling again. If that feeling was me enjoying the company of my friends or feeling motivated to complete an assignment. I do feel like the most important thing to me for a meaningful religious experience would be the faith and the sound of music. Without faith how can there be a meaningful connection with your religion? The sound of music is something I look forward too when I attend mass. I feel connected to god, myself and everyone else that shares the same religion as me.

    Like

  53. I only have one question? How can we compare and contrast religious music from the time Jesus Christ was born to modern day religious (gospel) music in our world today?

    Like

    1. I think religious music has a purpose on people, getting them into a peaceful zone where they feel more connected with their god. It doesn’t matter if music has changed over the years as long as it still gives you the same feeling of peace.

      Like

  54. A time when, I experienced flow was when, I used to work at a veterinary clinic. Each shift, I would have a series of tasks to complete with a partner before the clinic opened. My partner would ask me what time it was. We would always be surprised by how much time has passed because, there was always so much to do and not enough time. This however would always make feel anxious because, it made me feel as if there wasn’t enough time in a day and honestly there isn’t
    .

    Like

  55. I usually experience the flow feeling a good amount, but the strongest of times when I am driving in the car with someone else driving, and look out the window. Sometimes I feel like I am in a music video, gazing at everything going by me, and past thoughts and things upcoming in the future that get me in this type of mood. I feel connected to myself, my friends, family and whatever events come into my head when I’m in this mood.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Wouldn’t it be counter intuitive to achieve this zen state of mind while having to be intensively concentrated on playing the shakuhachi? Some websites define zen as not being occupied by any distracting thoughts, emotions, and such. As a piano and bass player, I know that playing an instrument is like opening a gateway allowing all sort of emotion/feeling to flow into you. What do you guys think?

    Like

  57. I can achieve that flow state of mind when I listen to music. I try to meditate to relax and to lessen my anxiety while listening to music. Listening to music provides something that I can focus on while I meditate. Without music, I totally lose my focus because I am unable to focus on my breathing without getting side tracked. As for physically playing an instrument, it helps relax me and get me to focus on how to play the instrument.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you think it could eventually become possible for you to be able to calm yourself anywhere by simply playing back this same music in your head even though you might have access to it at the time?

      Liked by 1 person

  58. My question is, how common is it for people to listen to music for religious reasons rather than just listening to it for leisure reasons?

    Like

  59. First of all I found this article very intresting and educational. As I was reading my interest and understanding was boosted when I reach up reading about the (FLOW) which is known as on of the four big ways music enhance religious experience. My flow was triggered more since it actually tell me what I was doing, basically reading the article got my attention, I didn’t find it boring and the only challenge I had was checking up on my nephew while I was reading. In spite of that I was able to focus without frustration because of the flow was their because I was eager to learn. The flow also put me in a high end state of mind where by while reading I also imagine what I was reading which help me to learn more intensively and vividly.
    From my own experience having a flow also help to build my faith because when I’m in church listening and reading. Well let me begin by saying if a pastor is preaching something very intresting I don’t find my self falling asleep, I find my self falling in a flow which help me to understand and see things in depth. For example I get to realised I was ungrateful because a time study how people can be ungrateful when you never did them anything wrong but only show kindness and be kind to them and they turn and stab you in the back. I get to understand how I was ungrateful in the first place because I only had study how I felt but not how I made God felt after he blessed me with certain things but I know better now from my experience of flow.
    Finally what also interest me is the Shakuhachi which is made by one person and entertain by that one person with no audience. I believe a lot of us in this world today don’t know about the shakuhachi and its meaning since its also not a music and also i know if some people heard it they would think its a music. Listening to the shakuhachi I remember I heard it from Chinese movie and I thought it was a music but I realised it’s a form of meditation which I notice person playing it in Quiet places all by them selves from the Chinese movie and I it’s a fact because before they go in to challenging activities like fighting beside training they meditate heavily using their flute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way! When I was reading the article it really caught my attention and made a lot of sense when it came to “flow”.

      Like

  60. I totally agree with the flow experience, time passes by so fast when you’re really into something and you don’t even realize it, this happens to me to every time I start watching a new show/series. I will watch 10 episodes (45 minutes long) in one day without even moving from my bed. I’ll forget what I had planned for the day. The same happens when I commute from my house to work, one hour passes by so fast when I’m listening to my favorite radio station.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. I’ve been thinking about flow and I was wondering what the difference is between flow & just spacing out. Sometimes I find that I do a task and just breeze through it and barely remember what I did, would that be considered flow or something else?

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Early in the morning, a while before the sun has risen, I walk into my local bodega to get a bacon egg and cheese to start off my day. Behind the sound of diligent sandwich making and the deli cutter, you can here the harmonic chanting in a foreign language. At first I thought this was music but eventually learned the the chanting was a Adhan or call to prayer. The Adhan is a kind of mantra which is a repetitive chant meant to bring good fortune and peace. The word Adhan means to listen which is why it is used as a call for all muslims to come and begin their daily prayers. An outsider may hear an exquisite voice singing in a beautiful language but to muslims this is an announcement from the respected “muezzin” or leader of prayer. Muezzines are actually chosen for their powerful voices and good deeds. So the next time you’re ordering a sandwich at your local bodega take a minute to listen to the Adhan in the background.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Music is very strong, and very influential. It exists in all types of form. I learned that music is so powerful, that it even influences some religions. Some people prefer not to listen to certain songs because they believe it is a taboo in their religion, while some listen to certain songs that influences their religion. I find that so interesting, some people boycott certain genres of song because of its content . Music basically add more spirit, or derail an entire religion, music is a very powerful instrument. Depends on how you interpret it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I remember when I was Christian and first began listening to Tyler, the Creator, a part of me felt weird because his themes of murder, rape, cannibalism , and not caring about anything were literally everything that religion and common sense went against; but, I wasn’t the only one that couldn’t help but listen to what he had to say as well as admire his delivery and word play.

      Like

  64. My question is… Why are certain instruments not “suited” for religious musical practices… does it have something to do with tones? are some instruments just historically more graceful and angelic? Or is it just because of what the culture is used to?

    Like

Comments are closed.