Mudcat Café message #217733 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20699   Message #217733
Posted By: Peg
25-Apr-00 - 01:57 PM
Thread Name: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
Rick; i misunderstood you, thought you meant contemporary music BY pagans!!!
as for music used in ritual, most covens emply some; it is great to have live music of course and i have performed at a number of large public rituals and one group I used to perform with did some very ritualized choreography with our songs...whether an original arrangement of John Barleycorn or a medieval Trotto or Peruvian dance... (BTW I have a CD of this group's work that just came out if anyone is interested, send me a personal message--I am no longer with them but I have several solos on the disc and my arrangement touches are all over it)
as for music played to accompany ritual, this is according to someone's preference...I work with a coven that has been ongoing since the early 1970s and so much of the music they play during certain rituals has been a fixture for a long time...some of it is from that period (1970s; for example, we often play Tom Rush's version of "Urge for Going" at the beginning of the Fall Equinox ritual, but do not use songs with lyrics during the actual ritual itself)and some is older traditional music (like dance tunes by John Renbourne or various harpists or Celtic instrumentalists...the combination of guitar and flute is particularly effective for some reason, as are old 17th century French court dance tunes) and some is contemporary stuff like Kitaro or Dead Can Dance, etc.
Different music evokes different feelings and emotions in magical contexts. So depending on the ritual, the range is wide. I like traditional Middle Eastern music for some rites, slow Celtic guitar for others...Loreena McKennitt has a number of great pieces, with words and without...African drums are often effective for more fiery rituals like Beltane or Midsummer, or things by artists like Gabrielle Roth or Deep Forest...
at a witch "party" you often will hear mix tapes people put together with "witchy" songs, some really magical, some slightly tongue in cheek (like The Eagles' Witchy Woman, Tull's The Witch's Promise, Donovan's Season of the Witch, Cream's Strange Brew, Devil Woman, ELO's Strange Magic, etc.)

hope this helps...

pagan, musician, and pagan musician!