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Singing the Rite to Belong: Ritual, Music, and the New Irish - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)
  • Singing the Rite to Belong: Ritual, Music, and the New Irish - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)
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Singing the Rite to Belong: Ritual, Music, and the New Irish - Oxford Ritual Studies Series (Hardback)

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£74.00
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 08/06/2017
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This book explores the way in which singing can foster experiences of belonging through ritual performance. Based on more than two decades of ethnographic, pedagogical and musical research, it is set against the backdrop of "the new Ireland" of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Charting Ireland's growing multiculturalism, changing patterns of migration, the diminished influence of Catholicism, and synergies between indigenous and global forms of cultural expression, it explores rights and rites of belonging in contemporary Ireland. Helen Phelan examines a range of religious, educational, civic and community-based rituals including religious rituals of new migrant communities in "borrowed" rituals spaces; baptismal rituals in the context of the Irish citizenship referendum; rituals that mythologize the core values of an educational institution; a ritual laboratory for students of singing; and community-based festivals and performances. Her investigation peels back the physiological, emotional and cultural layers of singing to illuminate how it functions as a potential agent of belonging. Each chapter engages theoretically with one of five core characteristic of singing (resonance, somatics, performance, temporality, and tacitness) in the context of particular performed rituals. Phelan offers a persuasive proposal for ritually-framed singing as a valuable and potent tool in the creation of inclusive, creative and integrated communities of belonging.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780190672225
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 696 g
Dimensions: 236 x 162 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"This is an important and timely contribution to our understanding of the place of singing in people's lives. Although focused on the context of ritual, it speaks to the human power of singing for all individuals and groups, including singing's facility as a social glue to create a sense of collective identity and belonging. Helen Phelan is an outstanding scholar and we are in her debt for this wonderful text."--Graham Welch, Professor of Music Education, University College, London


"Phelan constructs a dazzling portal into the world of ritual singing, and the web of meaning making that it generates. Rooted in experiences with musical migrants in 21st century Ireland, this mix of ethnography and critical reflection particularly focuses on how ritual singing facilitates a sense of belonging. The breadth of dialogue partnersfrom Ephrem the Syrian to Derrida, somatics to Wittgensteinrenders this a fascinating and informative read. Bravo!"--Edward Foley, Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music, Catholic Theological Union


"In Singing the Rite to Belong, Helen Phelan uses her deeply experiential understanding and impeccable scholarship to argue for the unique role of song to invite and celebrate community. Song in ritual, she proposes, offers the promise of incorporation without demanding annihilation of unique gifts, yearnings, and culture. Her compelling descriptions of rituals, chant, and choirs and the people who breathe them into being and her innovative applications of theoretical insights from phenomenology, ritual, and resonance will be appreciated equally by scholars and by those who welcome strangers into new lands."--Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature, Indiana University-Bloomington


"While the relationship between singing and belonging seems intuitive to any of us who make music in community settings, Helen Phelan convincingly demonstrates that much more is taking place than we might expect. Phelan brings together knowledge of ritual studies, experience in ethnographic research, and a passion for singing in a rich work of insight. She is able to do what few performers can -- reflect objectively on the act of singing and the inherent bridge between singing, breathing, and belonging."--Professor Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Southern Methodist University




"Phelan integrates a depth and breadth of knowledge in ritual studies, ethnography, philosophy, religion, music education, acoustics, and the singing voice to create a compelling argument about the profound effect that performed singing rituals have in the development of communities of belonging Phelan's writing is of value to scholars of religion, ritual, music, and ethnic studies as well as anyone interested in the exploration of multicultural community building."--Matthew Schloneger, Reading Religion


"This is an important and timely contribution to our understanding of the place of singing in people's lives. Although focused on the context of ritual, it speaks to the human power of singing for all individuals and groups, including singing's facility as a social glue to create a sense of collective identity and belonging. Helen Phelan is an outstanding scholar and we are in her debt for this wonderful text."--Graham Welch, Professor of Music Education, University College, London


"Phelan constructs a dazzling portal into the world of ritual singing, and the web of meaning making that it generates. Rooted in experiences with musical migrants in 21st century Ireland, this mix of ethnography and critical reflection particularly focuses on how ritual singing facilitates a sense of belonging. The breadth of dialogue partnersfrom Ephrem the Syrian to Derrida, somatics to Wittgensteinrenders this a fascinating and informative read. Bravo!"--Edward Foley, Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music, Catholic Theological Union


"In Singing the Rite to Belong, Helen Phelan uses her deeply experiential understanding and impeccable scholarship to argue for the unique role of song to invite and celebrate community. Song in ritual, she proposes, offers the promise of incorporation without demanding annihilation of unique gifts, yearnings, and culture. Her compelling descriptions of rituals, chant, and choirs and the people who breathe them into being and her innovative applications of theoretical insights from phenomenology, ritual, and resonance will be appreciated equally by scholars and by those who welcome strangers into new lands."--Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Literature, Indiana University-Bloomington


"While the relationship between singing and belonging seems intuitive to any of us who make music in community settings, Helen Phelan convincingly demonstrates that much more is taking place than we might expect. Phelan brings together knowledge of ritual studies, experience in ethnographic research, and a passion for singing in a rich work of insight. She is able to do what few performers can -- reflect objectively on the act of singing and the inherent bridge between singing, breathing, and belonging."--Professor Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Southern Methodist University


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