Chants: Kirtan + Europe = Taizé

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)

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