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Widdess, Richard (2020) 'Lokapañca: Analysing Structure, Performance and Meanings of a Temple Song in Nepal.' In: Borio, Gianmario, Giuriati, Giovanni, Cecchi, Alessandro and Lutzu, Marco, (eds.), Investigating Musical Performance: Theoretical Models and Intersections. London: Routledge, pp. 220-234. (Musical Cultures of the Twentieth Century)

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The song Lokapañca belongs to the repertoire of a group of temple singers in the town of Bhaktapur, in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Such songs can be considered both as artefacts and as performance processes. The text and melody of Lokapañca can be considered as an artefact reflecting the identity and history of the temple and the group, and ultimately the social and political history of sacred singing in the Kathmandu Valley. In performance the compact structure of the song is "unfolded" in multiple antiphonal repetitions of each line according to a prescribed procedure, with changes of tempo and instrumental accompaniment. This performance process, shared with other songs, reflects the ethnographic context, generates emotional intensity and musical and psychological “flow”, and reinforces reciprocal relationships between members of the performing group. The dual character of the song as artefact and performance, structure and process, can be understood by reference to cognitive and cultural schemas extending beyond musical performance.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
ISBN: 9780367134389
Copyright Statement: ©2020 Routledge. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Investigating Musical Performance: Theoretical Models and Intersections on 10/06/20, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2020 15:17
Funders: British Academy, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Other

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