Now that you know what kirtan chant is, let’s explore the amazing things that happen when kirtan is introduced to Christianity in this second article in a series on chant. Take the principles of kirtan, but use western Eurpean music theory and you have Taizé:
This truly exciting piece captures the essence of spiritual repetition that defines kirtan. But, listen carefully; that is a folia… that is a four-part harmonic progression… and there are instrumental and vocal counterpoints.
The Taizé seem to have a very similar goal to that of kirtan; that the repetition provides a meditative character that penetrates the soul (read more).
They use many of the same structures found in kirtan, including call-and-response, repetition, and litany:
But, they also employ some very European forms, such as the cannon (round):
Before Taizé I would have never seen the potential of rounds for kirtan. Some of their litanies are very old-world Catholic:
This truly unique music has connected two completely different worlds for me: the east and the west – Ancient India and Early Europe. I shall leave you with four more minutes of peace:
السلام, שָׁלוֹם, Pacem (Salam, Shalom, Pacem)