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date: 17 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Music was a ubiquitous feature of life in Graeco-Roman antiquity and musical performance often took place in ritual settings. Singing and instrumental performance played a key role in many socio-religious contexts, including communal meals, religious ceremonies, and other social gatherings. Communal singing and instrumental performance were both vital components of many ritual practices and these performative acts served as an essential communicative medium for the expression of religious belief, emotional disposition, and group identity. Musical practice within the context of ritualized settings helped to reinforce a sense of unity within socio-religious groups and facilitated social cohesion among group members in Graeco-Roman, Israelite, and early Christian religious traditions of antiquity.

Keywords: communal singing, domestic worship, identity formation, liturgy, musical ritual, religions of Mediterranean antiquity, socio-religious boundaries

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