Singing the Right Way: Orthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia

Jeffers Engelhardt

Anno: 2015
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 294 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 238 x 161 mm
Peso: 540 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199332120
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Singing the Right Way enters the world of Orthodox Christianity in Estonia to explore the significance of musical style in worship, cultural identity, and social imagination. Through a series of ethnographic and historical chapters, author Jeffers Engelhardt focuses on how Orthodox Estonians give voice to the religious absolute in secular society to live Christ-like lives. Approaching Orthodoxy through local understandings of correct practice and correct belief, Engelhardt shows how religious knowledge, national identity, and social transformation illuminate in the work of singing: how to "sing the right way" and thereby realize the fullness of their faith. In some parishes, this meant preserving a local, Protestant-influenced tradition of congregational singing from the 1920s and 30s. In others, it meant adapting Byzantine melodies and vocal styles encountered abroad. In still others, it meant continuing a bilingual, multi-ethnic Estonian-Russian oral tradition despite ecclesiastical and political struggle. Based on a decade of fieldwork and singing in choirs, Singing the Right Way traces the sounds of Orthodoxy in Estonia through the Russian Empire, interwar national independence, the Soviet-era, and post-Soviet integration into the European Union to describe the dynamics of religion and secularity in singing style and repertoire - what Engelhardt calls secular enchantment. Ultimately, Singing the Right Way is an innovative model of how the musical poetics of contemporary religious forms are rooted in both sacred tradition and the contingent ways individuals inhabit the secular. This landmark study is sure to be an essential text for scholars studying the ethnomusicology of religion.