Music as a bridge
Published in 2019 as a chapter in Enlivening Faith edited by June Boyce Tilman, Helena Kettleborough’s first person study proposes that music can act as a bridge between linear and holistic thinking and as a door to a spiritual view of the world. The study draws upon the four domains of musical experience identified by Boyce-Tillman in 2016 (see diagramme and resources below) which can help us understand how music is can bring us into spirituality: Materials, Expression, Construction and Vales. When these four domains come together, the spiritual is brought back into music.
Practical examples from community
The chapter explores how music can help communities understand and see their place within the world. A widely known song from rural Kerry, Ireland, the Boys of Barr na Stráide, is offered to illustrate how song can help give a community their sense of place in the world. The work of musicians Ruth Keggin, Sean Garvey, Dezi Donnelly and John Broderick are referenced. It is suggested that music can help teach humanity a wider place in the planet and cosmos.
Using examples it illustrates how music can reach out to wider communities. Students’ experience of music to inspire them as they learn about responsible enterprise and sustainability in a Business School environment opens up students’ experience to new ideas through a diverse range of music.
It suggests that using music can offer ways to address the deep and ‘wicked’ challenges facing humanity and the planet and concludes with ideas for how such work might be taken forward by musicians and singers in community and education settings.