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Blog 7, Bhatnagar

The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony is a Sufi ceremony that symbolizes stages on the path to accessing God. The music allows the listeners to “experience direct spiritual union with God” and “symbolizes the soul’s journey to God.” It also has a combination of religious elements and it is performed with traditional Mevlevi music. Many turkish communities have this type of ceremony, but now it is mostly in Konya and Istanbul. Also, this is strictly a “whirling dance” where they “rotate on their left feet in short twists using their right foot to move their bodies around the left foot.” Also as the instruments/music is playing, the listeners have their “eyes open, but unfocused so that images become blurred and flowing.” This helps having direct contact with God.

Amazing Grace is gospel music played mostly in the church. The music helped to keep people self-aware and more connected to their spirituality. It is a song for forgiveness and redemption from God regardless of sins committed. This is also a very religious piece of music. It has also been played at funerals to show that forgiveness from God while someone may have passed can actually bring comfort to another. Also, in some parts of the song, the afterlife is talked about, which may be another reason why this is also played at funerals. 

Some similarities were mentioned when it was talked about how it is a religious piece of music worshipping of God. Also, both of the pieces of music have a slow rhythm to it and even a slow tempo. Both of this music is played to ask for forgiveness or just including the people who believe in God. Also, the difference I noticed were that there was no voice, only instruments used in the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony as compared to Amazing Grace which only had voice and lyrics without having instruments played. Amazing Grace dealt more with asking for forgiveness while Mevlevi Sema Ceremony had more to do with a spiritual connection with God.


  1. I agree with your statement the difference between the Sema ceremony and to amazing grace where on had no vocals only instruments and amazing grace only vocals and no instruments. Also how you pointed out the differences in meaning between the songs.

  2. I agree with your observation that the Sema ceremony is more of a spiritual connection with God. I found it interesting that the Sema ceremony contained no vocals and was instrumental. I wonder if it’s like that because it helps them focus more.

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