New Age Music: son, corps et religiosité

Auteur Maxime PAPAUX
Directeur /trice Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

My project explores the relations between sound/music, the body and spirituality in New Age thought. I focuse on theories, beliefs and practices relating to the influence of sound on the body, mind and spirit - particularly through the notions of vibrations and frequencies. This research echoes the return of new age and ambient music since the mid-2010s (by streaming, reissues and new productions within the alternative scene), and notably their effervent revival during the 2020 pandemic. So today many press articles identify a so called « new age of new age music ». My analysis will go back to the esoteric musical theories of the XIXth-XXth century to better understand the discourses and practices which result from them. I plan to study both new age music as a music genre that emerged around the 1960s and holistic sound-based therapies.

It will be a matter of observing the body as a place of spiritual experience through the prism of a chosen cultural medium: the music. To do this, I will anchor my research in the theoretical framework set by Isabel Laack (pioneer of the 'religion and music' research field) and base my research on a collection of primary sources (publications, press articles & interviews, websites, forums, etc. ), grey literature and audio material then supplemented by interviews (listeners, producers and distributors). This research will seek to answer the following questions: What is the origin and evolution of new age music (history)? What are the relationships between body and sound in New Age thought (discourse)? How and why is new age music listened to, produced and distributed (practices)?

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