6 The construction of a religious chain of memory J’ai plus de souvenirs que si j’avais mille ans. Baudelaire, “Spleen” Ancient memories come on in thru my door Rastafari is so true and so pure. Sizzla, “Ancient memories,” 1998 Reggae music and the Rastafari movement transmit a memory of slavery and a memory of Africa, which can be characterized as diasporic, in relation to an original center as much as to the shared experience that followed a founding event: the forced exile provoked by the slave trade. This collective memory is reinforced by a strong

in Time and memory in reggae music

) or at its very end (eschatologies). And yet, in reggae music, the eschatology is everywhere: it defines both practices and representations that belong to the present, contaminating them, as it were, by charging them with meaning. What Hubert shows for festivals and rituals—whose function is, before anything else, to periodically renew the intensity of the myth by repeating it both in time and out of time—applies here beyond the rite. The sacred, in reggae music, erupts everywhere; while the past is called into the present and is thought to define it, as was

in Time and memory in reggae music
Temporal and spatial articulations

turn to the case of reggae music, and more specifically to the object of inquiry in this study—that is, the corpus of songs used for analysis. It can be argued that here it is not just one, but two centers, which are constructed and produce a sense of unity for the group. On the one hand, slavery appears as a temporal center; on the other hand, Africa constitutes a spatial center; both have to do not only with the origin, but with the subsequent history of the group. Hence there is a foundational land (Africa) and a foundational historical event (the Middle Passage

in Time and memory in reggae music
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essential place they give to eschatology—that is, the mythical narrative of the end of the world. Generally, it implies both the destruction of the current world, rendered necessary by its gradual degradation, and the birth of a new, purified and regenerated world. This is the case of the Rastafari movement, whose eschatology is centrally based on the Revelation of Saint John; and interestingly, the eschatological narrative is one of the most central in reggae music. Degradation of the world and apocalyptic cycle One essential idea is the progressive degradation of the

in Time and memory in reggae music
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During the period covered by this study, 1876–1953, the music of Empire was everywhere in Britain. It could be heard in music halls, concert halls, churches and cinemas; at coronations, jubilees, pageants, exhibitions and tattoos; in the park, at the seaside, on the wireless and the gramophone. With its unique capacity to stimulate the emotions and to create mental images

in Imperialism and music
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Empire and music

contemplated the Empire’s dissolution until the 1940s suggests that such a policy would have commanded little electoral support, and even though the Labour Party gave India its independence in 1947, the Government expected to be ruling Africa for the foreseeable future. Music In view of the ubiquity of imperialism in fiction, painting, poetry and theatre, it would seem

in Imperialism and music

7 Music, language and literature Language and music The divergent interpretations of the relationship between music and language in modernity are inseparable from the main divergences between philosophical conceptions of language. The attempt to explain language in representational terms in the empiricist tradition that eventually leads to analytical philosophy, and the understanding of language as a form of social action and as constitutive of the world we inhabit in the hermeneutic tradition give rise to very different conceptions of music. One paradigmatic

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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marching troops, to inspire and to convey orders and commands. March music is defined by The New Grove as essentially an ornamentation of a fixed, regular and repeated drum rhythm. Stylistic traits of the march that seem to be present throughout its history include rhythmic patterns with regularly recurring

in Imperialism and music

It was song that brought the Empire into the home. There were two staples of song in the second half of the nineteenth century: the drawing-room ballad and the music-hall song. It is sometimes said that the former was middle class and the latter working class, but this is an oversimplification. The drawing-room ballad was written for and aimed at the middle-class drawing-room but

in Imperialism and music
Music for imperial films

The imperial melodramas which were a staple of the Victorian and the Edwardian stage were transferred largely intact to the silent cinema. The stage melodrama had orchestral accompaniment, with music signalling the entrance of characters, providing interludes and emphasizing dramatic climaxes. In the absence of dialogue, silent films were provided with continuous musical

in Imperialism and music