Undergraduate Research Paper
This paper explores the appropriation of Buddhism in new age music and argues that New Age musicians should do better at representing Buddhist cultures. Beginning by discussing the popularity of mindfulness and its incorporation into secular settings, this paper highlights the historical connection between sounds, meditation, and spirituality, emphasizing the significance of music in religious expression. This paper then delves into the origins and essential teachings of Buddhism, and an overview of new age music, which uses ambient sounds to create a relaxing atmosphere. New age music also includes various elements of Buddhist practice, like chants, mantras, and ritual instruments like singing bowls. However, concern is raised about the potential misrepresentation of Buddhism in new age music. The harms of cultural appropriation are discussed, leading to concerns over the potential for stereotyping and racism to grow. Finally, the paper analyzes the cultural appropriation of Buddhism by new age artist Ashana, an American crystal singing bowl player and spiritual healing influencer. This analysis acknowledges that individuals may unknowingly appropriate elements from other cultures and suggests promoting a better understanding of cultural exchange. The overall aim is to inspire a more respectful and authentic representation of Buddhist cultures in new age music.
University of Washington Tacoma
TWRT 211: Argument And Research In Writing
Robinett, Jack T.
"The Appropriation of Buddhism in New Age Music: New Age Musicians can do Better at Representing Buddhist Cultures,"
Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship: Vol. 7:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/access/vol7/iss1/3