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Through Music to the Self: How to Appreciate and Experience Music Anew Paperback – November, 1991

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Element Books Ltd; 6th edition (November 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852301368
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852301361
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,174,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Peter Michael Hamel has studied music, psychology, and sociology, as well as spending three extensive periods in Asia. He is influenced by Asian religions (particularly east Indian), and his works are often intended for mediation and self-exploration purposes.

In this book, he gives a brief survey of contemporary "Approaches to Composition" (Bartok, Orff, Messiaen, Stockhausen), followed by "Group Improvisation" and "Psychedelic Music." (One of the more controversial aspects of his book is his advocacy of drug use for mystical purposes. "Admittedly, mystic drug-experiences cannot be programmed, any more than can intuitive states. But with the help of a doctor trained in psychology, or an experienced friend, good results are invariably achieved.") He also provides gives some interesting facts about the spiritual/religious lives of some famous composers; e.g., Satie was a Rosicrucian, Schoenberg was interested in Swedenborg, Bartok was an atheist, and Stockhausen composed to texts by Sri Aurobindo.

Hamel then surveys Indian Classical Music, Tibetan Ritual Music, and Shahmanic drumming, before moving on to "The Esoteric World of Sound and Research into Harmonics" (including a considerable section on Mantra). He then discusses "Spiritual Jazz" and the music of Terry Riley, as well as his own compositions. Finally, he covers "The Healing Effect of Music," "The Power of Breath and Voice," and even Experimental Theatre.

There are certainly some aspects of this book that seem "dated" (it was written in 1976, after all). But Hamel's perceptive comments are still very pertinent for a great many areas, and they make this a very worthwhile work for people intersted in musical psychology, or "spiritual" music in general.
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I recommend this book to anyone looking into the deeper origins and meanings of the musical arts.

Peter Michael Hamel is an eminent musician in his own right and has done an excellent job in relaying knowledge ancient in origin and relating it to the serious musician for today. Music is important in ways most do not fathom.

This book is highly thought of in our family of artists. If you love music, you will love it more after reading this book.

GMM
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Good history, relevant to musicians of any future time period.

Well worth the read. Amazing knowledge. Foundational and inspirational. Important work.

Great!
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The book was recxeived promtly and was in as good or better condition the advertized
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