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Deep Listeners: Music, Emotion, and Trancing [Hardcover]

Judith Becker


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Paperback £18.95  

Book Description

1 Jun 2004
In "Deep Listeners", Judith Becker brings together scientific and cultural approaches to the study of music and emotion, and music and trancing. Becker claims that persons who experience deep emotions when listening to music are akin to those who trance within the context of religious rituals. Using new discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and biology, "Deep Listeners" outlines an emotion-based theory of trance using examples from Southeast Asian and American musics. A companion CD includes excerpts from several of the musical genres under discussion, and a 16-page colour insert presents vivid documentation of the global experience of "deep listening."


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..". [A] significant contribution to the literature on music, trance, ritual, and cognition, encompassing an impressive body of literature on the subject, and bridging disciplines in an entirely new way.... This book will be important and fascinating for musicologists, cognitive scientists, and others interested in the relationship between music, emotions, the mind, and the body." Journal of the American Musicological Society" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Judith Becker is Professor of Ethnomusicology in the School of Music, University of Michigan, where she directs the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the University Gamelan. Her field of expertise is the music of Southeast Asia, and she has conducted research in Burma, Indonesia, North India, and Sri Lanka. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The interpenetration of music with trancing is ancient and universal. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Synthesis, A Thorough Treatise 29 April 2013
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
More than a well-written, scholarly but easy to follow academic book on the distinctions of "deep listening" and "trancing", this extraordinary treatise by Judith Becker includes insights from her ethnomusicological field work with Balinese and Suwalesi spirit trancers in Indonesia, Sufi Qawwali singers in India, and Pentecostals in the United States. Moreover, she provides a fine history of European trancing, including Mesmerism, Italian tarantismo, and related hypnotism; the Indian rasa system of fundamental emotions; various historic and ethnic conceptions of ego, notions of an individual's self and consorts, and associated examples of possession. And if that is not sufficient, she also correlates her anthropological and psychological findings with neuroscience and the work of Nobel scientist Gerald Edelman, and with cognitive philosophy. Emotions (psycho-neuro-endocrinolgoic mediated) are the key, through the aesthetic appreciation in profound listening [Arabic tarab] that can stop time, drop ego-sense, create bliss, and move to tears, and, for trancing, through cultural conditioning and belief systems coupled with strong music-entrained movements, which can development amnesia and anesthesia. Her discussions have a framework of holism, process and flow, and mutual feedback systems, which include the union of musicians, music, and trancers. The book has some musical scores, color photographic plates, and a CD with musical exemplars. The reader will apt to be fascinated and left with much to ponder, especially since most people have had some similar powerful experiences while listening to music. This excellent book brings to bear the role of music in consciousness-mind.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, readable scholarship 30 Sep 2007
By Robert A. Yourell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With plenty of examples from numerous cultures, Becker brings home the point that cultural expectations shape the spiritual experience, rather than the music itself. The music CD that comes with the book provides actual examples from various folk traditions. My only complaint was that I didn't have the Wikipedia handy when I was reading the book, so I often did not know what part of the world the various tribes being discussed were from. If you don't know the names of lots of tribal societies, have some kind of reference material available.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 12 Mar 2010
By Sockbert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't really want to write a full review, but I just want to say that this was an incredible book. It confirmed feelings that I've had about myself for quite a long time now. If I didn't experience deep listening myself, I might just pass this book off as drivel, though, meaning that I doubt I would consider it essential reading unless you have some odd experiences with music. That is the case with me, so after searching for ANYTHING on the subject, I found this book, and I thank God I did. Now I don't feel like a freak. Well, at least not because of my musical experiences!
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