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Tibetan Buddhism And Sacred Sound Essay

894 words - 4 pages

Tibetan Buddhism and Sacred SoundMusic is a form of expression that can reach the inner most parts of a person's being and displays an emotion that they themselves may not have been able to identify. Across all parts of the world, all religions, music is a consistent theme that bands groups together in a central focus or theme. Through holy hymns or earnest chants that praise their deities, music has the capability of stimulating the thoughts and minds of worshipers alike, and is regarded as having a significant role in religious teaching. In all the religions, worldwide, music has a very essential purpose and a varied range of uses. Buddha's teachings mention music on many occasions. In the book Amitabha Sutra, a manuscript collected of Buddha's lessons, says that heavenly singing and chanting is supposedly heard all day and night. And, the sounds of nature coming together make a musical sound that blend together advocating harmony, peace and a mindfulness of Buddha and Dharma and their teachings.In Buddhism, sutras also known as hymns, praising the qualities of the Buddha's are thought to purify the hearts of the people and Buddha's followers music was customary as a sort of traditional gift that is made to Buddha. Buddhist music plays a fundamental part in the communal practices. If someone plays a certain sound or melody during worship it is usually easy for those listening or hearing the sound to interpret what emotion the sound is trying to portray. Now, for people to reach some point of assimilation, it is crucial to be able to connect and comprehend the other's frame of mind and moods and ultimately establish a sense of community. This is one of the roles music plays in religion worldwide. The gift of music being able to grasp people's attention, touch them deeply and bring about a deep sense of emotion makes music so indispensable.Chinese Buddhist music makes use of a wide range of instruments during their chants and hymns. Since these instruments are widely used to circulate Buddha's teachings they are known as Dharma Instruments (Xingyun 232). Instruments such as the Chinese tambourine, gong, large drums and small drums, along with the small and large cymbals are widely used in Chinese Folk and Buddhist music. Even today Buddhist music is appreciated and performed in many concert halls and temples around the world.In China, when Buddhism was first brought about translation of the scriptures was the primary focus. The difference in the two languages made this a difficult task at first and ultimately certain hymns were omitted because of the vast differences in language. With the absence of those hymns later monasteries remade some of those original hymns and they were played for the Imperial court royals. The original hymns date back to as early as 220...

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