Sebanti Chatterjee, “Choral Voices: Ethnographic Imaginations of Sound and Sacrality” (Bloomsbury, 2023)

Sebanti Chatterjee’s book Choral Voices: Ethnographic Imaginations of Sound and Sacrality (Bloomsbury, 2023) is about sacred and secular choirs in Goa and Shillong across churches, seminaries, schools, auditoriums, classrooms, reality TV shows, and festivals. Voice and genre emerge as social objects annotated by tradition, nostalgia, and innovation. Piety literally and metaphorically shapes the Christian lifeworld, predominantly those belonging to the Presbyterian and Catholic denominations. Indigeneity structures the political and cultural motifs in the making of the Christian musical traditions. Located at the intersection of Sociology, Anthropology, and Ethnomusicology, the choral voices emplace ‘affect’ and the visual-aural dispatch. Thus, sonic spectrum holds space for indigenous and global musicality.

This ethnographic work will be useful for scholars researching music and sound studies, religious studies, cultural anthropology, and sociology of India.

Tiatemsu Longkumer is a Ph.D. scholar working on Indigenous Religion and Christianity at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong: India.

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