Item description for Traces of the Spirit: The Religious Dimensions of Popular Music by Robin Sylvan...
"Sylvan's thesis furnishes far more of the same valued experiences than is usually realized: ritual activity, communal ceremony, a philosophy and worldview, a code for living one's life, a cultural identity, a social structure, a sense of belonging, and crucially, Sylvan argues encounters with the numinous." --"Journal of Religion"
Most studies of the religious significance of popular music focus on music lyrics, offering little insight into the religious aspects of the music itself. Traces of the Spirit examines the religious dimensions of popular music subcultures, charting the influence and religious aspects of popular music in mainstream culture today and analyzing the religious significance of the audience's experiences, rituals, and worldviews. Sylvan contends that popular music subcultures serve the function of religious communities and represent a new and significant religious phenomenon.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork using interviews and participant observation, Sylvan examines such subcultures as the Deadheads, raves and their participants, metalheads, and Hip Hop culture. Based on these case studies, he offers a comprehensive theoretical framework in which to study music and popular culture. In addition, he traces the history of West African possession religion from Africa to the diaspora to its integration into American popular music in such genres as the blues, rock and roll, and contemporary musical youth subcultures.
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Studio: NYU Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 6.3" Height: 0.99" Weight: 1.19 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2002
Publisher NYU Press
ISBN 081479808X ISBN13 9780814798089
Availability 0 units.
More About Robin Sylvan
Robin Sylvan is Assistant Professor of Religion and the Arts at the College of Wooster in Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Traces of the Spirit: The Religious Dimensions of Popular Music?
Excellent for Music, Sociology & Religions students!!! Mar 9, 2006
We read selections of this book in my Religion & Popular Culture class. It was excellent. The author carries the theme of African music and it's influence on the rest of our modern music through the whole book and I dig that. It's time all people realized the positive impact our African brothers and sisters have had on music and spirituality. Rap & Hip Hop aren't all about gang violence, and Rave culture isn't all about drugs. This book explores how people relate to music as more than just a good time, but as religion. Music shapes so much of our world today and there is so much negative feedback about the subcultures Sylvan writes about in this book, it's awesome to see new, positive light shed on them .