Chapter

Ritual and Performance

W. Anthony Sheppard

in Revealing Masks

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223028
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924741 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520223028.003.0003
Ritual and Performance

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Many works of music theater appear to exist between the religious and the aesthetic modes of ritual performance. These works are most often aesthetic rituals that aspire to or are intended to function as religious rituals, taking “religious” in the broadest sense to include more idiosyncratic forms of spiritual expression and belief. Thus, modernist music theater is a genre created at the margins of several performing art forms, a genre often arising between cultures, and one that repeatedly aspires to the liminal state of ritualistic experience. A crucial question concerning the ritualistic nature of much modernist music theater is whether ritual, properly so called, can be invented by an individual artist or whether it must arise from the processes of cultural tradition.

Keywords: music theater; rituals; performing arts; artists; cultural tradition

Chapter.  3288 words. 

Subjects: Applied Music

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