So I'm taking a class that deals with the anthropology of religion, witchcraft and magic. The discussion topic is how each of us would define of religion. My definition of religion contained music as one of the central tenets of my belief system or what have you. I cited "A Love Supreme" and "Love Devotion Surrender" as being deeply spiritual. I also alluded to being among others in certain musical instances where exploratory improvisation was prevalent, and feeling a sense that's very religious. Music is very spiritual for me...there's been times at shows where I find myself in meditations that run very deep. I received a very interesting, intelligent response that I'm not sure how to counter.
You said that “music can be an extremely religious experience” and while it can be, I don’t think it is intrinsically. Maybe you’re simply over generalizing. I’m not sure. Regardless, I don’t think crowds that together, are enthralled by music are having a religious experience. I can’t define “spiritual” experiences so I’ll just skip over that. Music can certainly invoke different emotions and surely there will be some (perhaps even many) individuals in a crowd who experience the same emotions, I don’t think those emotions are all necessarily religious. They are definitely emotional experiences, though, biochemical reactions to certain sounds. I don’t think it necessarily “puts them in touch with higher powers.”
Since this is a music community, I need that perspective. If this is supposed to be in P & R I apologize.
Am I alone in this feeling? I think I know how to respond, but I'm not sure.