Is Music Replacing Religion?
At least for some music fans, it is, according to researcher Dr Clive Marsh, Director of Learning and Teaching at the Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning.
"Walking through Victoria Park in Leicester, you see lots of people listening to their iPods, seemingly caught up in their own private worlds," says Marsh. "People devote hours and hours to music, often having daily or weekly listening rituals that they follow."
Dr Marsh believes that listeners are often exploring philosophical, spiritual and ethical issues when listening to music.
"People are starting to identify ‘canons’ of material from popular culture: resources which are worth returning to, again and again, for enjoyment, yes, but also to help people ‘think things through’," adds Marsh.
"They are also locating ‘authoritative communities’ – sometimes virtual communities: groups of people whose views they trust, who gather around music, bands, TV programmes or film-sites, not just to talk about music, TV or film, but to reflect on how their listening and viewing habits inform their living and help them develop their philosophical, religious, political or ethical commitments."
Dr Marsh has been studying the relationship between popular culture and religion for over 15 years.
There are obviously many that listen to music religously, that seek out transcendant musical experiences and that treat their favorite musicians with reverence.
Does this really translate into being a religion, though?
I'm skeptical - but I'm also listening to some classic Berlin School electronica by the godfather of techno, Klaus Schulze, on vintage vinyl over my KRK Rokit 5's.....
Leave a comment with your thoughts!
Image: by cinocino