Music and its Role in Religions Around the World

Music and its Role in Religions Around the World

Kaarin Record Leach, Director of Music


Because of the crucial role music plays in all our lives, it’s very difficult to imagine what life would be like without it. Music communicates emotions, thoughts, and inspirations that transcend race, religion, and culture; as such, it plays a vital role in the emotional and spiritual well-being of our lives. Its harmonies, rhythms, and tone colors have a way of filling in the gaps in thought, feeling, and emotion that words cannot, resulting in a deeply powerful experience, made even more powerful when accompanied by spiritual reverence.

The uses and forms of religious music are as diverse and culture-specific as the religious traditions in which they are found. They use musical forms and instruments from their respective cultures and, yet, music can transcend cultural limits; the religious musical systems of Ethiopia and Tibet differ almost as greatly from the secular music from those cultures as the music of foreign countries. In this way, religious musical systems can also extend across cultural boundaries. Islam, for example, has forged musical links across vast regions of Asia and Africa. Other well-known intercultural religious musical traditions include Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and West African/Latin Percussion music. Join us this month as we explore the diverse and beautiful music from religious traditions around the world.

“One day, music will take its rightful place as the true religion of Mankind.”
– Hazrat Inayat Rehmat Khan (1882-1927), founder of the Sufi Order in the West

“This is what I want in Heaven: for words to become notes and conversations to be symphonies.”
– Tina Turner (b. 1939), R&B musician

August: Songs, Games, and Food for Piedmont UU musicians! Date TBA in Weekly Announcements!
September 4, 2019 (Wednesday): Choir rehearsal officially begins