Tibetan Buddhist Chant

Musical Notations and Interpretations of a Song Book by the Bkah Brgyud Pa and Sa Skya Pa Sects

by Walter Kaufmann

Tibetan Buddhist Chant opens the door on a remark-able and fascinating musical culture that is rapidly vanishing. In recent years the investigation of the musical aspects of Tibetan chant has become practically impossible because under new rulers the religious practices of the Tibetan Buddhists, the monasteries, libraries, and the chant itself have ceased to exist. Hence this book is of special value for rescuing some parts of a religious art that is about to disappear. In addition to its esthetic interest, the music of this society was characterized by extra-musical., magical properties and reflects the concern of Tantric Buddhism with mystical rites that are expected to have a beneficial or propitiatory effect on nature and human destiny. These concerns are reflected in the materials selected by Professor Kaufmann and are related to Tantric ritual. The book is fully illustrated with musical examples and includes reproductions of an entire Tibetan song book by various sects and part of a "song document" or textbook dealing with technical matters. The sacred texts were translated from Tibetan into English by Thubten Jigme Norbu, formerly the abbot of one of Tibet's greatest monasteries.


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    Indiana University Press
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    Bloomington, Indiana USA
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    Copyright © Trustees of Indiana University
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    Indiana University Press
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