clothofdreams: (el laberinto del fauno)
This is an important article for everyone, but especially for musicians. Hopefully more research is underway.

Music as Torture/Music as Weapon

Abstract
One of the most startling aspects of musical culture in the post-Cold War United States is the systematic use of music as a weapon of war. First coming to mainstream attention in 1989, when US troops blared loud music in an effort to induce Panamanian president Manuel Norriega’s surrender, the use of “acoustic bombardment” has become standard practice on the battlefields of Iraq, and specifically musical bombardment has joined sensory deprivation and sexual humiliation as among the non-lethal means by which prisoners from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo may be coerced to yield their secrets without violating US law.

The very idea that music could be an instrument of torture confronts us with a novel—and disturbing—perspective on contemporary musicality in the United States. What is it that we in the United States might know about ourselves by contemplating this perspective? What does our government’s use of music in the “war on terror” tell us (and our antagonists) about ourselves?

This paper is a first attempt to understand the military and cultural logics on which the contemporary use of music as a weapon in torture and war is based. After briefly tracing the development of acoustic weapons in the late 20th century, and their deployment at the second battle of Falluja in November, 2004, I summarize what can be known about the theory and practice of using music to torture detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. I contemplate some aspects of late 20th-century musical culture in the civilian US that resonate with the US security community’s conception of music as a weapon, and survey the way musical torture is discussed in the virtual world known as the blogosphere. Finally, I sketch some questions for further research and analysis.



Reactions?
clothofdreams: (el laberinto del fauno)
This is an important article for everyone, but especially for musicians. Hopefully more research is underway.

Music as Torture/Music as Weapon

Abstract
One of the most startling aspects of musical culture in the post-Cold War United States is the systematic use of music as a weapon of war. First coming to mainstream attention in 1989, when US troops blared loud music in an effort to induce Panamanian president Manuel Norriega’s surrender, the use of “acoustic bombardment” has become standard practice on the battlefields of Iraq, and specifically musical bombardment has joined sensory deprivation and sexual humiliation as among the non-lethal means by which prisoners from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo may be coerced to yield their secrets without violating US law.

The very idea that music could be an instrument of torture confronts us with a novel—and disturbing—perspective on contemporary musicality in the United States. What is it that we in the United States might know about ourselves by contemplating this perspective? What does our government’s use of music in the “war on terror” tell us (and our antagonists) about ourselves?

This paper is a first attempt to understand the military and cultural logics on which the contemporary use of music as a weapon in torture and war is based. After briefly tracing the development of acoustic weapons in the late 20th century, and their deployment at the second battle of Falluja in November, 2004, I summarize what can be known about the theory and practice of using music to torture detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo. I contemplate some aspects of late 20th-century musical culture in the civilian US that resonate with the US security community’s conception of music as a weapon, and survey the way musical torture is discussed in the virtual world known as the blogosphere. Finally, I sketch some questions for further research and analysis.



Reactions?
clothofdreams: (steeple)
(Disclaimer: This is the first in what may be a long series of musings on the subject of music, worship, and theology. Feel free to skip if you aren't interested.)

The below is an abstract from one of the best articles on this subject. Ken Stephenson addresses the need for distinctly Christian musical scholarship in the Winter 2006 Christian Scholar's Review:

"The topic of music theory suffers an absence in the renaissance of Christian scholarship of the last few decades. Mark Noll has nothing to say about music theory in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind; neither does George Marsden in either The Soul of the American University or The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, and neither does J. P. Moreland in Love Your God with All Your Mind. A perusal of the contents of the present journal over the last few years uncovers articles on anthropology, biology, cultural criticism, ecology, economics, education, film criticism, geography, history, journalism, literature, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology, but no articles on music theory. (The one article on music, 'John Calvin's Theology of Liturgical Song' by Jeffrey T. VanderWilt, concentrates on the texts of the Psalms.)

"Not that either this journal or the mentioned authors are in any way at fault; two basic facts explain the oversight. First, even the music theorist must acknowledge the obscurity of the field as a whole in present-day academia. While most readers could no doubt lend a somewhat informed voice to a discussion on the topic of special creation vs. "blind-watchmaker" evolution or the status of truth as either absolute or relative, and while the names Aristotle and Kant, Newton and Einstein, Dewey and Piaget, Gibbon and Toynbee, Derrida and Foucault, and Lewis, Plantinga, Noll, Marsden, and Moreland are familiar to this readership, the ideas and even the names of the greatest music theorists of history--for instance, Guido of Arezzo, Gioseffo Zarlino, Jean Rameau, Heinrich Schenker, and Allen Forte--are less known, much less the nature of the debate between Christian and secular music theory. And here we reach the second explanatory fact. Readers do not know of any debate between Christian and secular music theory because no debate exists, and no debate exists because virtually no Christian music theory is being done today."


It is my belief that because virtually no Christian scholarship is being done in the field of music, there is likewise a stunted, limited understanding of how music relates to worship. Many are ready and eager to evaluate music based on the quality of the lyrics, but what about the music itself? And what about all the music that is not song? We have no idea how to evaluate the music itself, because no one has shown us how. Thus, we continue to employ theologically shallow (or even erroneous) music in our churches, without having the least idea of what it is that we are hearing.

Clearly, something needs to be done.
clothofdreams: (steeple)
(Disclaimer: This is the first in what may be a long series of musings on the subject of music, worship, and theology. Feel free to skip if you aren't interested.)

The below is an abstract from one of the best articles on this subject. Ken Stephenson addresses the need for distinctly Christian musical scholarship in the Winter 2006 Christian Scholar's Review:

"The topic of music theory suffers an absence in the renaissance of Christian scholarship of the last few decades. Mark Noll has nothing to say about music theory in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind; neither does George Marsden in either The Soul of the American University or The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship, and neither does J. P. Moreland in Love Your God with All Your Mind. A perusal of the contents of the present journal over the last few years uncovers articles on anthropology, biology, cultural criticism, ecology, economics, education, film criticism, geography, history, journalism, literature, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology, but no articles on music theory. (The one article on music, 'John Calvin's Theology of Liturgical Song' by Jeffrey T. VanderWilt, concentrates on the texts of the Psalms.)

"Not that either this journal or the mentioned authors are in any way at fault; two basic facts explain the oversight. First, even the music theorist must acknowledge the obscurity of the field as a whole in present-day academia. While most readers could no doubt lend a somewhat informed voice to a discussion on the topic of special creation vs. "blind-watchmaker" evolution or the status of truth as either absolute or relative, and while the names Aristotle and Kant, Newton and Einstein, Dewey and Piaget, Gibbon and Toynbee, Derrida and Foucault, and Lewis, Plantinga, Noll, Marsden, and Moreland are familiar to this readership, the ideas and even the names of the greatest music theorists of history--for instance, Guido of Arezzo, Gioseffo Zarlino, Jean Rameau, Heinrich Schenker, and Allen Forte--are less known, much less the nature of the debate between Christian and secular music theory. And here we reach the second explanatory fact. Readers do not know of any debate between Christian and secular music theory because no debate exists, and no debate exists because virtually no Christian music theory is being done today."


It is my belief that because virtually no Christian scholarship is being done in the field of music, there is likewise a stunted, limited understanding of how music relates to worship. Many are ready and eager to evaluate music based on the quality of the lyrics, but what about the music itself? And what about all the music that is not song? We have no idea how to evaluate the music itself, because no one has shown us how. Thus, we continue to employ theologically shallow (or even erroneous) music in our churches, without having the least idea of what it is that we are hearing.

Clearly, something needs to be done.
clothofdreams: (blue flower)
- Kansas City was a blast. We did not get to the art museum, but no matter. We saw Murray Perahia and he blew our minds. I sent an extremely long email to Hannah about the concert, but I will spare you the music-geekiness. Suffice it to say that I have never before been so inspired as a musician as I was that night.

- No, I haven't heard anything from the grad schools yet. Applications in and auditions complete for UT and Belmont University (in Nashville). I've nothing left to do but to wait.

- I am so excited that Spring is here! I've been cleaning and redecorating my house, and that makes me a happy camper. Now I am ready for some visitors. Who wants to be my house guest?

- Tonight is very important, because tonight is the LOST episode where we finally find out how John Locke became paralyzed. I think he's the one who is going to get killed off this year. Given his erratic behavior of late and that the writers are apparently wrapping up his back-story tonight, he seems a good choice for elimination. Besides, I think they've been far too insistent about Charlie's impending doom for it to actually be him. Thoughts?

- I have had "Lullaby" by The Dixie Chicks stuck in my head all morning. It could be worse.
clothofdreams: (blue flower)
- Kansas City was a blast. We did not get to the art museum, but no matter. We saw Murray Perahia and he blew our minds. I sent an extremely long email to Hannah about the concert, but I will spare you the music-geekiness. Suffice it to say that I have never before been so inspired as a musician as I was that night.

- No, I haven't heard anything from the grad schools yet. Applications in and auditions complete for UT and Belmont University (in Nashville). I've nothing left to do but to wait.

- I am so excited that Spring is here! I've been cleaning and redecorating my house, and that makes me a happy camper. Now I am ready for some visitors. Who wants to be my house guest?

- Tonight is very important, because tonight is the LOST episode where we finally find out how John Locke became paralyzed. I think he's the one who is going to get killed off this year. Given his erratic behavior of late and that the writers are apparently wrapping up his back-story tonight, he seems a good choice for elimination. Besides, I think they've been far too insistent about Charlie's impending doom for it to actually be him. Thoughts?

- I have had "Lullaby" by The Dixie Chicks stuck in my head all morning. It could be worse.
clothofdreams: (steeple)
Yesterday in church we sang good hymns. This may be normal in your church, but it is most decidedly not in ours. Music is viewed as important, but in the list of priorities, it falls considerably far down (beneath other necessaries such as the preaching of the Word, doctrinally-sound Sunday School material, and accurate powerpoint slides).

Yesterday, however, we sang good hymns. They were orthodox, lyrically rich, and well-composed. We even sang a tune based on an old plainsong hymn. Gasp! This was quite the departure from our usual Baptist-ishy fare (no offense to any Baptists on my friends list).

This miracle, coupled with the occurrence of the first Sunday in Advent, whetted my thirst for a more intentional, meaningful liturgy. This thirst comes to me seasonally in waves, and yesterday it hit me full in the face. It annoys me to no end that so many protestants (my denomination especially, it seems) ignore what riches the historical liturgical traditions of the church have to offer. The church calendar is such a beautiful, present reminder of the story of redemption-- why don't we actively incorporate it? I know, I know: repetition breeds indifference. But you know what? It doesn't. We are humans and as such we need constant reminders.

I need to buy a Book of Common Prayer or something.
clothofdreams: (steeple)
Yesterday in church we sang good hymns. This may be normal in your church, but it is most decidedly not in ours. Music is viewed as important, but in the list of priorities, it falls considerably far down (beneath other necessaries such as the preaching of the Word, doctrinally-sound Sunday School material, and accurate powerpoint slides).

Yesterday, however, we sang good hymns. They were orthodox, lyrically rich, and well-composed. We even sang a tune based on an old plainsong hymn. Gasp! This was quite the departure from our usual Baptist-ishy fare (no offense to any Baptists on my friends list).

This miracle, coupled with the occurrence of the first Sunday in Advent, whetted my thirst for a more intentional, meaningful liturgy. This thirst comes to me seasonally in waves, and yesterday it hit me full in the face. It annoys me to no end that so many protestants (my denomination especially, it seems) ignore what riches the historical liturgical traditions of the church have to offer. The church calendar is such a beautiful, present reminder of the story of redemption-- why don't we actively incorporate it? I know, I know: repetition breeds indifference. But you know what? It doesn't. We are humans and as such we need constant reminders.

I need to buy a Book of Common Prayer or something.
clothofdreams: (daisies)
I should like to try a little Nickel Creek. Any song suggestions?
clothofdreams: (daisies)
I should like to try a little Nickel Creek. Any song suggestions?
clothofdreams: (Default)
Spotted at TowerRecords.com:

"One of opera's most talented pairs, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna perform a special celebratory concern in Dresden, Germany. Filmed in the breathtaking outdoors in July of 1999, their set of several lovely opera classics is as refreshing and inspiring as the warm summer air." (emphasis mine)


Bwaha.
clothofdreams: (Default)
Spotted at TowerRecords.com:

"One of opera's most talented pairs, Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna perform a special celebratory concern in Dresden, Germany. Filmed in the breathtaking outdoors in July of 1999, their set of several lovely opera classics is as refreshing and inspiring as the warm summer air." (emphasis mine)


Bwaha.
clothofdreams: (Default)
Rachael, Megan, and Lana, you would be proud of me. I am currently listening to Norah Jones as I work, and... enjoying myself. :)



How ironic that it took me longer to write the html in this text than the text itself...
clothofdreams: (Default)
Rachael, Megan, and Lana, you would be proud of me. I am currently listening to Norah Jones as I work, and... enjoying myself. :)



How ironic that it took me longer to write the html in this text than the text itself...
clothofdreams: (Default)
...and I have no clue why. But sometimes not knowing is kind of nice.


I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all adds up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tear
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

~ 'Worlds Apart', Jars of Clay
clothofdreams: (Default)
...and I have no clue why. But sometimes not knowing is kind of nice.


I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all adds up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die

To turn away and not become
Another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
more deeply than the oceans,
more abundant than the tear
Of a world embracing every heartache

Can I be the one to sacrifice
Or grip the spear and watch the blood and water flow

To love you - take my world apart
To need you - I am on my knees
To love you - take my world apart
To need you - broken on my knees

All said and done I stand alone
Amongst remains of a life I should not own
It takes all I am to believe
In the mercy that covers me

Did you really have to die for me?
All I am for all you are
Because what I need and what I believe are worlds apart

~ 'Worlds Apart', Jars of Clay

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