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Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Tibet/Bhutan: Tibetan and Himalayan Studies


Ritual music is a significant but often misunderstood aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Specifically, vocal music serves a variety of purposes that distinguish the genre from Western music. In order to understand and appreciate ritual vocal music from a Western perspective, there must be firm understanding of the importance of melody and the source of its value. The author has studied with members of the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community, focusing on ritual vocal music and the process of composition. Through an examination of the vocal music composition and of concepts of inspiration and creativity, this paper will shed light on the crucial role of the composer and the process of composing in Tibetan Buddhism.


Music | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


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