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date: 23 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Suzel Reily’s essay discusses the implication of the universalist thrust of the Roman Catholic Church upon local traditions. While in Brazil local music making has been historically linked to Catholic practice, the clergy’s understandings of “the popular” derive from their interpretations of Vatican II directives along with a preoccupation with liturgical fidelity. In this setting, lay religious repertoires are being discouraged in favor of folk-like musics rooted in imagined local traditions. But alongside a clash in musical aesthetics, Reily shows how the musical practices associated with the new repertoire actually mitigate against collective singing, whilst threatening to shift local practices from the religious sphere to, at best, a secular folklorized arena.

Keywords: Christianity, music, South America, Brazil, Catholic, choir, choral, Vatican II, folk, conflict, liturgy

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