Jochen Kaiser

Congregational Singing as an Emotional Expression of Faith. An Ethnographic Approach (German Environment)

Singing can give rise to overwhelming experiences. Many singers describe singing as an activity which improves their well-being. I myself have been singing in choirs and congregations all my life. I remember an evening late in summer, rays of sunlight flashing through the church, listeners sitting quietly with happy faces in the pews and our voices sounding through the huge space of the church. Suddenly, somehow expectedly but nevertheless surprisingly, I was incredibly happy, strongly sensing the present moment and the moving atmosphere which had been created. I had goosepimples and a tear in my eye. The atmosphere was characterised by the magical light, the huge space, the singers and the listeners. I thought to myself: everybody is in the same mood and we are experiencing this wonderful moment together as we sing. In retrospect I would say it was a religious experience.

A systematic summary of this description offers a connection to central terms of the phenomenological aesthetic: though the account is short, it highlights the complexity of aesthetic experiences.

Format · Aufsatz

URN · urn:nbn:de:101:1-2018062011245861368932

Publikationsort · Schott Campus, Mainz 2018

Zitation · Kaiser, Jochen: »Congregational Singing as an Emotional Expression of Faith. An Ethnographic Approach (German Environment)«, Mainz 2018 [Schott Campus, urn:nbn:de:101:1-2018062011245861368932].