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Beyond the Roof of the WorldMusic, Prayer, and Healing in the Pamir Mountains$
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Benjamin D. Koen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367744.001.0001

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Transformative Meaning in Sound, Empowered Sound in Culture

Transformative Meaning in Sound, Empowered Sound in Culture

(p.153) 6 Transformative Meaning in Sound, Empowered Sound in Culture
Beyond the Roof of the World

Benjamin D Koen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 details a power-laden and affective symbol, metaphor, poetic and musical sign in Pamir culture that is central to concepts of health and healing. This is done through poetic and musical analysis that shows the pervasiveness and centrality of this local sign, which is manifest in local belief, the natural and built environment, and the musical and poetic structure of maddâh devotional music. A physiological experiment that was conducted in the context of maddâh ritual performance is presented and statistical data analyzed and interpreted showing a significant downward modulation of systolic blood pressure at p-value of .0003. Further, the culture-transcendent aspects are applied in another research project in the U.S. among a culturally diverse group of people (ages 18-85) where participants learn to create health, healing, or transformation through practices of music, sound, vocalization, and meditation. The GAP — Guided Attention Practice is presented as part of this latter research project.

Keywords:   affect, symbol, metaphor, musical poetic analysis, physiological experimentation, blood pressure, p-value, statistical analysis, applied research, meditation

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