Religion and musical practices are closely linked in most, if not all, societies and are interacting across cultural boundaries in the global age. Siegfried Nadel proposed that music may have had its origins in heightened speech at religious rituals—language performed in a musical way as a means of communicating with the supernatural, or at least as a way of demarcating sacred language from everyday language. We cannot know the origins of music, but it is true that religious practices around the world employ musical sounds. Yet in many, if not most, cases the relationship between music and religion is problematic, causing some religious teachings to include proscriptions against certain types of musical activity. Thus, any consideration of music and religion in a global context must ...

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