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Devotional Music

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Devotional Music
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CaseUser avatarPosts: 1080Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:40 pm Gender: Cake

Post Devotional Music

I find some devotional music to be very, very beautiful... maybe because I don't necessarily listen to the lyrics. ;)

Does anyone here share this appreciation? :)
I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.
Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834)

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:36 pm
LallapalalableUser avatarPosts: 1205Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:35 pmLocation: That place between childhood and adulthood Gender: Male

Post Re: Devotional Music

I share it only in that I dont listen to the lyrics of most music. I find guitars, keyboards/synths and drums are the only aspects of music to ever really pay any attention to (with the exception of Pink Floyd) (Edit: as far as the music I regularly listen to. String orchestras can be awesome to behold, and when I listen I usually enjoy)
"I'm not stupid, I just have a command of thoroughly useless information." Watterson
Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:43 pm
ShootMyMonkeyPosts: 145Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:38 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Devotional Music

My training in South Indian classical music means that most of the songs that I know and listen to pretty regularly are in fact devotional. To a lot of people, though, there's some debate about the value of the words. Although you have the standard common belief that "bhakti"(devotion to God) is crucial to the music, there are many -- particularly those who take a very academic approach to the music -- who don't say as much. One of my favorite singers (among those who are currently active) is Sanjay Subramaniam, and he's basically an agnostic (though I admit I only know this because he told me) who takes a very cerebral and research-based approach to his performances. Whenever pressed to speak of the value of "bhakti" in music, he invariably dodges the question in an almost comical way. Moreover, he's one of those people who doesn't have a particularly great timbre to his voice... but the key is what he's able to do with his voice. How fluently and artfully he's able to modulate pitch and intensity and how thoughtfully he applies it.

Most people at least get the idea of Indian classical music containing a lot of pitch bends and "hypnotic" flow, so to speak, but I don't think the understanding of the average person goes much deeper than that. It is basically a difference of religious values that contributes to that. Where western religions tend to be communal and involve large congregations lifting the name of God in unison, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. all tend to be solitary religions where people find their own means, rhyme&reason for worship. And in the same vein, the music tends to focus on a solitary voice and everything that can be done with a single voice. The focal point of the music on a structural level is simply the shape to every note in every raga, and pulling all that off with one voice and coming up with everything on your own. This is also why you might see some disagreement on the importance of the words and their meaning. For instance, songs will often be devotional, and carry some beautiful poetry with them, but they also confine you to a particular structure as defined by the composer. The most complete and exhaustive essays of a raga which give the performer the greatest freedom are the parts that have no words or rhythm at all. Still there are those who would say that it doesn't matter what you sing so long as you sing well.

You take for instance a film song like this one (which is actually sung in a fairly classical mode) --

The actual lyrics are referencing Hindu mythology, and speak of Radha dancing before Krishna as he plays his flute and so on. The person actually singing the song, however, happens to be a Muslim. Is it sacrilege? Not in his mind -- all that matters is that he performed the music well, and the lyrics don't matter a whit. It's all about the tune and making it beautiful through his performance. Moreover, part of the song drifts off into rhythmic syllables and solfeggio improvisations and so on, which have nothing at all to do with religion.

Conversely, though, there are those who would apply a hefty dose of religious conviction and feeling into their performances, and if it works out making something that is really good in the end, then so much the better --

Interestingly enough, for all his wildcatting and random digressions, he is staying within the rules of the raga (in this case Sindhu Bhairavi), and maintaining rhythm and proper timing throughout. Even when he loses control, he resets, finds his place and improvises until the beat cycle comes back around and he can pick up again. Also, this particular singer was never well respected within his time specifically because he wasn't a Brahmin. Regardless, he garnered the attention and interest of a lot of fellow musicians (all the accompanists here are legends in their own right) because he knew his stuff and always did something interesting that presented a major challenge. That sort of thing is also why I enjoy it, and it's also what I look for.
Yahweh can't possibly get tenure --
He has only one major publication. It has no credits and no references, and was not published in a peer-reviewed journal. He used human test subjects, many of which he killed, without ethics committee approval.
Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:42 pm
YfelsungUser avatarPosts: 514Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:26 amLocation: Canada Gender: Male

Post Re: Devotional Music

I listen to some devotional classical stuff with full choirs and what not. If it sounds good, it sounds good. You can also blaspheme up the lyrics a bit for some fun. When I was in Catholic School I rewrote most of Children of the Light into Children of the Night, though it wasn't very hard and it has all the tact that you'd expect from a blasphemy spewing 11 year old.

I also listen to a far amount of anti-religious music, so it works out.
Nihilism: turning "fuck it" into a philosophy since 1818.
Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:59 pm
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Devotional Music

this is my devotional music
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:52 pm
whatsinitformePosts: 21Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:02 am

Post Re: Devotional Music

Has anyone heard of Ustad Shujaat Khan?
Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:17 am
JohnRPosts: 13Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:30 amLocation: Indiana, United States Gender: Male

Post Re: Devotional Music

I messed up quite a bit, but I guess I would call some of these covers "devotional". I focus only on music, no lyrics. Feel free to offer an opinion or critique!

Memories of the Future - Antoine DuFour

Catching the Light - Antoine DuFour

I did these a little over 5 years ago in my college dorm...
Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:27 pm
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