The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20699 Message #218365
Posted By: Hollowfox
26-Apr-00 - 01:40 PM
Thread Name: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Whew! This thread grew pretty fast. I took notes while I read, but this posting may jump around like a flea on a hot brick. (1) "Pagan" is as generic a term as "protestant", and covers as wide a range. "Protestant" can mean anything from a Baptist to a Unitarian, and "pagan" covers groups who almost make up their worship forms as they go along, as well as those who read their worship form out of a book , and gods-help-you if you misplace a semicolon. (2) That said, a good many groups include in their belief(s) that the Diety has a sense of humor, so I wouldn't worry about divine offense being taken from your wiswass aspect coming through. (3) Another good book on morris dancing is Dr Anthony Barrand's "Six fools and a dancer", available through Front Hall Records. Good scholarship, very readable, anf the author isn't afraid to give his opinions on the question under discussion here. (4) The placement of some Christmas holidays at certain calendar dates can be placed at the feet of Pope Gregory I, aka Saint Gregory (I think). He sent the papal equivalent of a memo to St Augustine of Canterbury noting the unfortunate habit of the non-Christian population to worship in sacred groves and have feast to honor their non-Christian gods. St Augustine was essentially told to cut down the groves, build churches on those sites (I would think with the newly available lumber), and celebrate Christian saints' days on the old dates, so that in essence the populace would be doing the same thing at the same place, but for the right reason. This project got underway in A.D.597, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. (The library I'm working at today doesn't have the (translated) text of the "memo" that I'm paraphrasing; I can provide a citation tomorrow, if anybody wants it.) Midsummer Day (late June) was/is St. John the Baptist's Day. This holiday isn't a spopular as it used to be in medieval times. Maybe nobody's figured out a way to secularize it yet. (5) Joe Offer - Amen, brother. The sooner worshipers of All Types get this us/them bit out of their heads, the better off we'll all be. My grandfather once said that the different religions of the world were like road directions, all going to more-or-less the same place, but from different starting points. (6) What was the original question? Oh, yeah, music! The Nonesuch/O She Will Bring... became very popular in the 1980's, thanks to the singing of a man called Gwidion. He died in the early 1980's, and I know of two casettes that he made. I can have a name, copyright claims to the songs, etc, in a day or two, if anybody wants them. // Bob Coltman once reasoned that, if ancient Greek music was/is pentatonic, then you should be able to play it with a boogie woogie vamp, at least. He was just starting his ancient Greece Talking Blues at a coffeehouse when a couple came in, heard a bit and immediately left. Oh, well. // As for what neo-pagans use in worship services, I've heard Ewan MaColl's Ballad of Accounting, Magpie's Living Planet, and Roy Rogers' Happy Trails to You (this was to "dismiss" the various supernatural beings at the end of the Circle). Luckily, these pieces of music were all done at different times and places, not in the same evening.// Chants do predominate however. After a while they do start to sound the same as regards tunes. This led to a composition by Isaac Bonewits (famous in pagan circles) with the following lyrics: E minor, E minor, A minor, E minor, E minor, A minor G. I might have mis-remembered some of the words, but you get the idea.