How to Become a Professional Singer

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Traditional healing ceremonies serve to heal the sick and are done differently among different communities. Unlike music therapy, traditional music and healing usually serves as the primary healthcare system in the developing world. These cultures hold beliefs in the healing power of music that were shaped by their history and cosmology. Most often, the musical healing ceremonies also involve dance and visual arts such as special costumes, masks, or other accessories. Since healing ceremonies are often associated with other arts, they sometime require collaborative efforts. For example, the healing ceremony of the Temiar involves the healer singing one verse of the healing song, and a response by the female chorus which also provides the essential percussive accompaniment.

Who is involved in traditional music and healing?

Traditional healing ceremonies serve to heal the sick and are done differently among different communities. Unlike music therapy, traditional music and healing usually serves as the primary healthcare system in the developing world. These cultures hold beliefs in the healing power of music that were shaped by their history and cosmology. Most often, the musical healing ceremonies also involve dance and visual arts such as special costumes, masks, or other accessories. Since healing ceremonies are often associated with other arts, they sometime require collaborative efforts. For example, the healing ceremony of the Temiar involves the healer singing one verse of the healing song, and a response by the female chorus which also provides the essential percussive accompaniment.

The repayment methods for traditional musical healing are quite variable. Clients can offer money, food, clothing, or even services for the healers.

In Piman curing, the diagnosis is conducted by a medicine man in an event called dúajida (literally, “vitalization”) that involves singing a “vitalization” song, but the actual curing is conducted by the “blowing” song singers (Bahr and Haefer 1978: 90-91). Not only do those ceremonies involve healer, performers, patients, and others, in many examples healing ceremonies are also open to the public (see Bahr and Haefer 1978, Roseman 1991, Friedson 1996, etc.). Most healing ceremonies are not a subordinate or supplemental part of the traditional medicine, but often are the “medicine.” According to Bahr and Haefer, very few Piman or Papago would absolutely exclude the possibility that they will need such a cure (“blowing” ritual cure, see Bahr and Haefer 1978: 91).

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