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This chapter examines how musical performance is bound up with displays and exchanges of
sentiment in Vietnamese spirit possession rituals, known as len dong. It aims to
show how the expression of emotion is culturally mediated through ritual practice and musical
performance by exploring the affective modalities of mediumship from new perspectives. I also
consider the ways in which emotional expressions in ritual practices are inflected by gender
relations to the environment and discuss how the exchange of sentimental relations (tinh
cam) among musicians and between musicians and their audience is a highly prized ideal
during mediumship rituals and many other traditional contexts for musical performance.
Deeply felt sentiments are mediated, shared, and expressed in mediumship practices in numerous
ways. The process of coming out as a medium, the special relationships mediums develop with certain
spirits, the bodily experience of spirit possession, the enactment of ritual acts, divine
utterances, and the music and dance performed during rituals are all invested with emotional
associations and meanings. To explore these affective meanings, I examine the symbolic, bodily, and
social aspects of ritual experience and performance and consider the religious framework of
mediumship as a complex system of affect. In this system, linkages between emotion, the environment,
gender, and ethnicity are encoded in the sonic and mythical identities of the spirits. Through
expressive musical performance and ritual practice, a range of emotions and particular environments
in the natural world are related to the ethnicity and gendered characteristics of incarnated
Music was integral to the profound cultural, social and political changes that swept the globe in 1968. This collection of essays offers new perspectives on the role that music played in the events of that year, which included protests against the ongoing Vietnam War, the May riots in France and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. From underground folk music in Japan to antiauthoritarian music in Scandinavia and Germany, Music and Protest in 1968 explores music's key role as a means of socio-political dissent not just in the US and the UK but in Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa. Contributors extend the understanding of musical protest far beyond a narrow view of the 'protest song' to explore how politics and social protest played out in many genres, including experimental and avant-garde music, free jazz, rock, popular song, and film and theatre music.
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