KIRTAN MUSIC is form of chanting. Group chanting is a platform for a profound sharing of energy, heart, and soul. Chanting is in call and response format in many spiritual traditions. In the west, kirtan is call and response or sing-along style.
Do I have to be musical?
How well you sing is not a pertinent issue. You do not need prior musical experience. Kirtan is ideal if you are self-conscious about singing. Your voice blends with everyone around you. Science shows that group singing changes the chemistry of the brain. These changes happen regardless of skill level. Everyone reaps the benefits of chanting!
How does this affect my health?
Group singing brings the individual into harmony with the group. There are physiological processes at the root of the sense of connectedness. Oxytocin and dopamine are feel good chemicals. Both are released in singing.
Oxcytocin means “quick birth,” a reference to the bonding experience between a mother and infant. Oxytocin has a broader role in mediating emotional connections. The sense of elation in group singing comes from endorphins. Endorphins accompany feelings of pleasure. Group singing is a successful antidote for depression, stress and isolation.
Do I have to sing?
One of the great joys of kirtan music is the sense of community. This combines well with the spiritual practice of chanting. Participants are also welcome to experience kirtan music as a sound meditation or sound bath. Others may prefer to dance.
Where does the word “kirtan” comes from?
The word “kirtan” is Sanskrit. Chants are often sung in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the language of eastern yoga practices, including mantras. Western kirtan is a much broader genre. Western kirtan music includes many instruments, melodies and rhythms that are not traditional in India. Kirtan in the west is an ever-evolving art form!