Lesson kernel. Springboard for class discussion, unit, or activity--music's roles in religion and ritual. Also, springboard for faculty discussion of how to teach music's role in religion and ritual.
Music's role in religion varies across time and across religious teachings and traditions. Some practices prohibit or restrict music (in services and celebrations, or in every day life). Some religious traditions embrace music as a means of worship or of enhancing religious experience. Some practices exclude vocal music, allowing only instrumental music. Some practices allow only vocal music and exclude instruments. Some practices have strict gender roles and rules. Others do not. Examining the rationale for these beliefs and practices towards music in religion can result in meaningful class discussions and contribute to greater self-understanding and understanding of others. In teaching, do you address music's roles in religion? What are the risks and the benefits of teaching--or not teaching--music's roles in religion?