The affect of the music for the Sema ceremony has a strong impact on the listeners bodies and mind. The whole point of the music and dance of Mevlevi is to “experience direct spiritual union with God.” Therefore, the music is used as this slow, majestic, calming melody that helps to focus one’s mind so that they can feel a connection. The music coincides with the dance that they perform. One aspect of the dance is that they twist and spin, and as the video stated, they have their eyes open but unfocused, so they experience this blurred and distorted effect that can help with their “journey to God.” This aspect helps for the music to ignite their spiritual energy as it connects the body with the mind, and helps with that flow to God through the worship ceremony.
The Sema ceremony can be compared to the music in the synagogue for Kol Nidre. Similar to Sema in that this worship ceremony is sacred, Kol Nidre is a very special part of the Jewish religion, usually said on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. The chant of Kol Nidre is used as a way to connect to God, and has a deep meaning as Yom Kippur is the holiday that one prays for their life. The music is different in a sense, in that there is no specific dance that goes along with this chant, however, they are similar in that both melodies have a slow tempo and have a calming effect that can help with one’s spirituality and connectedness.
Hey Eliana, I liked how you compared the Sema ceremony to Kol Nidrei. You mentioned how both songs are sacred and although Kol Nidrei has no specific dance, overall their melodies both carry a calming effect. All together, I would say there was a strong connection for your argument about spirituality and unity!