The (en)chanted words in Australian aborigenes and Chinese traditional religious songs

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This paper is based on a work done in the seminar Classical and Traditional Religions in the Integrated Master in Theology of the Portuguese Catholic University. It focuses on indirectly exploring the words sung in traditional religious ceremonies of Australian aborigines and in those of three Chinese main ones: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Being difficult the treatment of different cultural contexts and different languages and not being able to handle the original texts, this work is based on documents that have a legitimate translation into a known language. Once verified the existence of these reliable sources that had translated the lyrics, the texts of the three songs treated were translated from English to Portuguese. This work concludes that although the philosophical and linguistic "abyss" between Chinese and Aboriginal culture is clear, one may notice that most of the lyrics sung serve the same purpose: to teach younger generations how to behave in order to have a pleasant life, using language in parables or proverbs causing the message to be scrutinized throughout life. Words seem to resonate in the thoughts of the musicians themselves
Original languageEnglish
Article number5/1
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalMusic and Human Mobility. Redefining Community in Intercultural Context
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Chinese ritual music
  • Aborigine ritual music
  • Human migration
  • Intercultural context
  • Communication


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