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2.3 Is religion a museum piece?

We have used the video sequence below to highlight the emic/etic problem and we would like you to carry out a short exercise using it to consolidate your understanding of these terms.

The video introduces St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow, which has been described as the first public museum of religion in the world. Do note, however, that the Museum of Religions at the University of Marburg, Germany was founded in 1927 by Rudolf Otto. It contains a considerable number
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2.2 Insider/outsider perspectives

Social historians have long argued that we must study history ‘from the underside’, if we want to thoroughly understand a society. In other words, it is not sufficient to have a top-down knowledge of a society's institutions and politics. We need also to examine how ordinary, ‘unimportant’ people operate within a culture: what influences them and what they can (and cannot) influence; how they see their role in society and how others see it. The outsider view is the view from the outsi
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1.6 Sources of authority

A very useful way of gaining insight into a religion and seeing how it works is to examine its sources of authority: for example, whether authority is vested in scriptures, in religious specialists, in tradition, in personal experience or a combination of these. Even in traditions where there is some agreement on what counts as an authoritative text, there are still contested issues of how that text is to be interpreted, by whom, with what degree of literalness and in what context. Similarly,
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1.1 What are the issues?

Some themes recur when we start to think about religion. These include issues of continuity and change, representation, differing perspectives, authority, community and identity. In this unit we start to consider some of them in detail.

The full list of themes and issues considered in this section are:

  • Continuity and change

  • Representation

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum 'Sacred Spaces' exhibition of 2000


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4.2 Summary: creating music

Both of these performances clearly belong to traditions where the ‘composer’ and the composer's identified works are rather less important than they are in Western art music. Every performance of Indian or Sundanese music is unique, and yet every performance draws on repertoire and techniques which have been learned. The total repertoire exists not as a set of written works, but in the minds of performing musicians – the music only really exists in performance, and each performance is a
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4.1 What is a composition?

We are used, in Western art music, to being able to identify a piece of music and its composer. The ‘piece’ is represented by the written notation; it can be realised in somewhat different ways in different performances. One of the problems we have in applying our concepts of composition to the music of other cultures is that it is not always easy the identify a ‘piece’ of music (an item of repertoire), as distinct from a particular performance.

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3.6 Conclusion

I asked the question at the beginning of this section on Sundanese gamelan music: how is it possible for a group of musicians to play highly complex music, in a cohesive manner, without the use of notation and without having to memorise impossibly large amounts of music? My answer came in a number of stages.

  1. Rather than reading, or memorising vast amounts of music, the musicians memorise the simple frameworks of pieces (the Javanese term for this, bal
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3.5 Expansion and contraction of the piece: wilet

It should already be clear that, in order for this music to work, musicians need to listen out carefully for what their colleagues are doing. For instance, since the saron I has at least three possible patterns to play (lancaran, caruk and ciaseman), the saron II player must keep listening in case his colleague changes from one to another. The same ‘interlocking’ principle applies to certain other instalments too. In order to show just how important group interaction is in this music howe
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3.3 The musicians at work

3.1 An introduction to gamelan music

The previous section introduced you to a music tradition which places great demands on the inventiveness and virtuosity of a single individual. Although this individual is supported by accompanists, it is to a large extent a soloistic music. We will now move on to a very different kind of music, in a tradition which places more emphasis on group interaction and ensemble playing. This is gamelan music of Sunda, an area comprising roughly the western third of the island of Java, in Indon
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2.1 An introduction to khyal singing

I now want to move on to explore the first of two case studies of non-Western music-traditions: North Indian art music, also known as Hindustani music. (There are two major art music traditions in South Asia; the other is known as South Indian or Carnatic.) In this section I will take you through a performance of music from this tradition and consider some of the questions posed by Author(s): The Open University

1.6 Summary

You may find it useful to go over the main points of the first section again.

  1. We in the West generally recognise two different concepts of musical creation, namely composition and improvisation. Composition is widely characterised as a relatively lengthy process involving the use of notation; improvisation involves the spontaneous generation of music without notation. The distinction can be useful when applied to our own art music tradition.


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1.5 The limits of memory

In unwritten music, a factor which places a constraint on the number of fixed elements – the degree of detail specified by any model – is memory. Whatever is fixed must be memorised; as a matter of necessity, therefore, performers in these traditions have evolved strategies which limit the load placed on their memories. Here is Nettl again:

Dividing music into elements, I hypothesise the need for some of these
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1.4 Models and building blocks

When any musicians perform they refer to something pre-existent, something we might call a ‘model’ or ‘referent’. For musicians performing written music, the most important of these (although not necessarily the only one) is the score or part from which they perform. Depending on the particular genre and period in question, the performer may have freedom to choose or alter certain parameters (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, in some cases the notes themselves), but the score will indicate,
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • be able to discuss different perspectives on the creation of music, in particular, composition and improvisation;

  • have an understanding of the basic principles underlying North Indian art music;

  • have an understanding of the basic principles underlying Sundanese gamelan music.


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5.1 Decision making

Decision making is understood as management's main task. Usually, the model of decision making is described as a perfectly well-organised, rational and logical process. First, the problem is defined. Second, all the relevant information that leads to an optimal solution is collected. Third, reviewing the data, management (perhaps with the help of technocratic ‘experts’) develops several possible solutions. Fourth, evaluating the possible solutions carefully, management makes a decision re
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5.5.2 Reaching a final decision

Having seen all the candidates, you can now start to pull together your notes and impressions and make a final decision. It is probably worth allowing a little time to gather your thoughts and/or discuss initial observations with colleagues or the interview panel after every interview so that your memory is not confused. The person specification should again play a major role in your final decision. Your questions should have been geared to elicit the necessary information from each applicant
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4.2.7 Implementing the solution

Getting agreement will not in itself ensure effective implementation. An action plan is needed, to set out exactly what each person now has to do. Your adjusted project plan (especially the critical path diagram and Gantt chart) and observation of what is happening should enable you to monitor how the recommended actions are being carried out.

In Example 8 the leader of a children and families team describes how they tackled a quality problem as part of a project to improve the process
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4.2.1 Defining the problem

It is vital that the problem is identified correctly. If the risk management system is working properly, the problem should not have hit you completely out of the blue, and you should already have some idea what it is about. But, although there is often a temptation to skip the definition phase and go straight to causes and solutions, it is important to be as clear as possible about the nature of the problem as seen from different perspectives, by answering questions such as those below.

<
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2.7 Multiple-cause diagrams

As a general rule, an event or outcome will have more than one cause. A multiple-cause diagram will enable you to show the causes and the ways in which they are connected. Suppose, for example, that you were asked to explain why a work group was under-performing. You could use a multiple-cause diagram both to help you to construct the explanation and to present it.

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