Dancing around the Table: the Rituals of Concerts  Cover Image
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Taniec wokół stołu, czyli rytualne gry koncertowe
Dancing around the Table: the Rituals of Concerts

Author(s): Tomasz Janas
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Stowarzyszenie Czasu Kultury
Keywords: Participating in a ritual concert: the need for common experience; spiritual depth of folk music concerts and the charade of heavy metal; ritual seduction of the audience by the artist; festive atmosphere of concerts;

Summary/Abstract: Attending a concert reveals a specific type of ritual. Listening to live music from the stage is not only a way of spending one’s spare time, but also fulfils the need for common experience. Singing together with the artists and applauding them creates a certain rhythm which enables us to escape the dull routine of everyday life. This rhythm gives people a sense of emotional and even spiritual connection with others. According to Tomasz Janas, attending a folk music concert organised in an enclosed space makes it possible to experience an unusual ritual. The audience becomes part of an almost festive event during which they experience a spiritual closeness. During the concerts played by Kwartet Jorgi, for example, everything concentrates around a table on which the musicians place their instruments and light candles. This creates a warm and homelike atmosphere and the line which divides the musicians from the audience seems to disappear. By relating to traditional forms folk music conveys a spiritual dimension. This dimension is completely absent from, for instance, heavy metal concerts where a charade of false pretences continues both on stage as well as among the audience. Here the sense of unity and common experience is limited exclusively to musical tastes and a particular, usually dark attire, although the fans themselves may claim that during such events “they are granted permission to enter a sacred space”. The ritual seduction by the artists and the ritual response of the audience create a specific type of harmony. The author notices that the ceremony of entering and leaving the stage is an integral part of the performance. In the case of rock and popular music concerts these are staged in a spectacular style which builds the atmosphere. Jazz musicians too, may use such techniques. Nevertheless, what is important is the fact that a concert can fulfil the need to experience special moments in the company of other people. Live music experienced directly

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 02-03
  • Page Range: 52-59
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Polish