Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
This thesis explores the ways that practitioners in orisha worshipping traditions conceptualize aché in relation to the function of music and performance in spirit possession ceremonies. Aché is a concept generally defined as divine force, power, or energy. I investigate the ways that practitioners experience, conceptualize, and perform the physical and spiritual functions of ceremonial music in order to understand the dynamics, interactions, and communicative exchanges between performers and participants. This discussion explores the multiple manifestations of aché throughout the ritual and the ways that the roles of drummers, dancers, singers, and other musicians interact to harness and manipulate physical and spiritual energies (aché) during the process of facilitating spirit possession. I argue that music and performance are used as complex, highly specialized technologies for harnessing and manipulating the energy of aché throughout a process of interactions between musicians and participants, leading to the ultimate goal of the ceremony- orisha spirit possession. I conclude that this process is as much methodical as it is spiritual, and I deliberate over the significance of faith and experience in religious and scientific matters in order to discuss my understanding of the concept of aché as a phenomenon. Based on practitioners' conceptualizations of aché, I argue that this force functions along the principles of physics, is an expression of religious philosophies and cosmologies, and is a variable, unpredictable energy that exists within and through human activity.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Frank Gunderson, Professor Directing Thesis; Michael B. Bakan, Committee Member; Joseph Hellweg, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.