Pagan Music Project: Risky Material From the Forbidden Library

Learn how Classical Music harbors subliminal and not-so subliminal Pagan messages.

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Amarfa

Amarfa

Amarfa has been studying the occult, wicca, and paganism for 17 years and counting.  She has been a musician since age 5, studying first guitar, then accordion for 10 years, placing 2nd in her division in the 1995 ATARI/ATAM New England Regional Competition,  and has been studying voice for 9. She has directed small early music ensembles, performed publicly, and starred in local theatre works, particularly the World Premiere of Nightsong, a musical theatre piece with direction and book by Jon Brennan and music by Kari Tieger and Kevin Campbell, as well as composing a musical of her own and writing music in her spare time.

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NOT WAGNER

When I started to wander out into the brick-and-mortar Pagan community, I noticed that there were a lot of people who believed in Norse mythology and Pantheon. Some Asatru, some called themselves Heathen, some Northern Tradition, etc.    And when I'd talk about how I wanted to find out more about how Pagans relate to music, especially if any relate to Classical music, I found that some Norsefolk liked metal and Beethoven, and others liked Richard Wagner.  Richard Wagner, for those who don't know, is hailed as having "revolutionized" music during the middle of the 19th century, and he did this via writing operas about Scandinavian 'sagas' and the 'Nibelungenlied.' I wouldn't be surprised if Wagner was the origination for a connection between Norse/Scandinavian spirituality and anti-Semitism.

I am against the man and his works.  Alright, maybe not.  Maybe I am confused and heartbroken that someone who could write such beautiful and moving music, on such a thoroughly Pagan basis, was a megalomaniac, an abuser, and a bloodthirsty anti-Semite.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    I happened to come across the following article today, and thought of your post: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20130807-how-i-
  • Robert Brown
    Robert Brown says #
    This is an individual question, and an important one. Have you seensome of Hitler's art? He was an awful, terrible guy. Some of

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Debussy: A Return

In response to Joseph Bloch's call for a July Blogfest on Cultural Appropriation, I once again present Claude Debussy.  

Debussy should be wildly important to modern Pagans, primarily as a French composer in Paris at the end of the 19th, turn of the 20th centuries who was admittedly Pagan, participated in some occult activities, (Societe de la Rose Croix that we know of) and is fully part of the Classical music paradigm.   (Paris and Vienna both were hotbeds of occult and new-age spiritual activity, especially due to the opening of new trade routes and better shipping and overseas travel.) 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Gee, Candi, if Debussy is a copycat then so is Shakespeare! The Bard borrowed older storylines in practically everything he wrote.
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    Thanks, Tammye! Afternoon of a Faun was, to me, the greatest Pagan "outburst" of the musical art of the Gilded Age. Have you rea
  • Tammye McDuff
    Tammye McDuff says #
    I love Debussy, one of my favorite pieces is Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. He captures the imagination and transforms his mu

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On the Occult Side
Question: Does a twelve-tone matrix have any relationship with the 'Averse Table of Commutations' as found in Qabbalistic writings, and how does this speak to composer intent?
 
(In other words, did Arnold Schoenberg just copy from Medieval Manuscripts for his "unnerving" (to say the least) approach to music? And does that mean he's an Occultist?)
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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Recently, someone asked me a question about my music: Do I touch the Gods through my music?

 

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    Considering the articles I've read lately about whether or not pop culture icons and fluffy bunnies are appropriate idols for worship, and whether or not to bow to them, I'd like to address the reverence I feel for Classical music and the composers of that art.  At the beginning of May, I sang in a concert of music by Beethoven.  This concert may have changed my life.  Towards peace. 

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  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Well said. And I agree...what we do is ultimately up to each person and whatever path calls to them.

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Another confession:  Instead of attacking De Occulta Philosophia, I'm going for the throat on Marsilio Ficino. 


A few years ago, I came across a book called "Music in Renaissance Magic" by Gary Tomlinson.  He focuses on the magic of a man named Marsilio Ficino, who was a priest and the doctor of Lorenzo de Medici.  Ficino is somewhat contemporary to Agrippa in the way that they both translated documents from Greek into Latin, and then proceeded to create their own synthesis of learning from those experiences. 

Ficino stood out to Tomlinson because he wrote magical music.  None of that music exists; it has all been lost to time, as Ficino's De vita libri tres has been out of my reach through library (another long story) and is too expensive to purchase. Until now. 

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I am at a complete loss for what to write about. I didn't write anything in March and I'm a guilty guilter who guilts. True story.  I've got 4 drafts, plenty of stock material on the old secret webpage, and here I am posting at night where no one will see my genius. 

I realize that blogs are places where people bring their fears and opinions out into the open, not just studies, so I hope this one's a bit of both.

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  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Candi, yes you can. If I can curl up in front of my keyboard and write Pagan poetry and Pagan short fiction and Pagan essays whil

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