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قديم 02-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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could anyone provide us the summary of staline and the diva , the exam is near. thanx
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قديم 12-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #16
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السلام عليكم الوحدة الثالثة والرابعه ملغيين
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قديم 12-11-2013, 01:32 PM   #17
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الوحدة الخامسة
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قديم 12-11-2013, 01:34 PM   #18
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Chapter 5:
Stalin
I. Activity (p. 125)
Quickly note down some words that you think best describe Stalin.
Discussion:
Words or short phrases one might use are: ‘dictator’, ‘Soviet leader’, ‘Communist’, ‘world leader’, ‘war leader’ or ‘mass murderer’.
II. Activity (p. 126)
Look up the terms ‘history’ and ‘myth’ in a dictionary, and then take some time to reflect on the differences between them.
Discussion:
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) definition of MYTH: ‘A purely fictitious narrative usually involving supernatural person, actions, or events, and embodying some popular idea concerning natural or historical phenomena.’
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) definition of HISTORY: ‘A written narrative
constituting a continuous methodical record, in order of time, of important or public events, esp. those connected with a particular country, people, individual etc’; and ‘That branch of knowledge which deals with past events, as recorded in writings or otherwise ascertained; the formal record of the past, esp. of human affairs or actions; the study or formation and growth of communities and nations.’
The difference between myth and history is that where myth is a distortion and cannot be fitted with the weight of the available evidence, history is an account that aims at capturing the truth about the past through a careful interpretation of evidence. It is worth noting that the issue is slightly more complex, for myths about the past play important roles in shaping the actions of historical actors. Historical accounts of the past are often constructed as replies to mythical accounts. Therefore, even though they are distinct, in practice the two are locked in continuous dialogue with each other.
III. Setting Stalin in Context
One of the most powerful and murderous dictators in history, Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. His regime of terror caused the death and suffering of tens of millions, but he also oversaw the war machine that played a key role in the defeat of Nazism.
Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili was born on 18 December 1879 in Gori, Georgia, which was then part of the Russian empire. His father was a cobbler and Stalin grew up in modest circumstances. He studied at a theological seminary where he began to read Marxist literature. He never graduated, instead devoting his time to the revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy. He spent the next 15 years as an activist and on a number of occasions was arrested and exiled to Siberia.
Stalin was not one of the decisive players in the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917, but he soon rose through the ranks of the party. In 1922, he was made general secretary of the Communist Party, a post not considered particularly significant at the time but which gave him control over appointments and thus allowed him to build up a base of support. After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin promoted himself as his political heir and gradually outmanoeuvred his rivals. By the late 1920s, Stalin was effectively the dictator of the Soviet Union.
His forced collectivisation of agriculture cost millions of lives, while his programme of rapid industrialisation achieved huge increases in Soviet productivity and economic growth but at great cost. Moreover, the population suffered immensely during the Great Terror of the 1930s, during which Stalin purged the party of 'enemies of the people', resulting in the execution of thousands and the exile of millions to the gulag system of slave labour camps.
These purges severely depleted the Red Army, and despite repeated warnings, Stalin was ill prepared for Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941. His political future, and that of the Soviet Union, hung in the balance, but Stalin recovered to lead his country to victory. The human cost was enormous, but was not a consideration for him.
After World War Two, the Soviet Union entered the nuclear age and ruled over an empire which included most of eastern Europe. Increasingly paranoid, Stalin died of a stroke on 5 March 1953.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/histori...n_joseph.shtml
IV. Periodization of the Stalin era:
A. Stalin’s rise: the creation of a personal dictatorship, 1924–28
B. Revolution from above, 1928–34
C. The era of the purges, 1934–39
D. The Great Patriotic War (1941–45) and its origins, 1939–45
E. Post-war Stalinism, 1945–53
V. Activity (p. 132)
Briefly identify three or four themes that strike you as common to the five sub-periods into which I’ve divided the Stalin era.
Discussion:
This is my list of some of the themes that run across the five sub-periods:
A. Stalin’s personal power, and the importance he placed on his own control of the party, and on ideological conformity
B. the extent of repression
C. concern with the Soviet Union’s international position and, indeed, its growth in prestige as an international actor throughout the period
D. social change – the transformation of the Soviet Union from a predominantly agricultural, peasant-based society to a ‘socialist’ industrial society.
VI. Stalin's Contested Reputation
Activity (p. 135)
Think about some of the different ‘reputations’ of Stalin extracted from the discussion above, namely:
A. Stalin as dictator, mass-murderer, director of repression, or ‘Red Tsar’
B. Stalin as a war leader and ‘saviour of the nation’
C. Stalin as the creator of a new society
These different reputations are affected by various processes that characterised his rule. Write down the themes from the history of the era that have played the most prominent role in shaping a particular reputation of Stalin.
Discussion:
This is an attempt to match reputation to historical theme:
A. Stalin as dictator: the extent of repression – the technique of using ‘show trials’, through which events were blamed on apparent ‘external enemies’
B. Stalin as war leader: concern with the Soviet Union’s international position and, indeed, its growth in prestige as an international actor throughout the period
C. Stalin as creator of a new society: social change – the transformation of the Soviet Union from a predominantly agrarian to a socialist industrial society.
VII. The Myth of Stalin
Activity (p. 136)
Reading 5.1 is an excerpt from Khrushchev’s speech to the Twentieth Congress in 1956 in which he detailed the crimes of Stalin. Read the excerpt now and take notes, organising them around the following questions:

1. According to Khrushchev, what were the main differences between Stalin and Lenin?
2. What does Khrushchev regard as Stalin’s major crimes?

Discussion 1
Khrushchev argues that under Lenin a ‘collective leadership’ prevailed in which there was considerable discussion of appropriate political strategy at the top of the party. As far as Khrushchev was concerned, Lenin understood the need for the revolution to remain close to the ‘people’ who had instigated it. Stalin, on the other hand, concentrated power in his own hands, severely repressed those who disagreed with him, isolated himself from the people, and attacked many of those in the party who supported it – using the concept of the ‘enemy of the people’ to justify his action. We might say, therefore, that Khrushchev regarded Stalin’s rule as a deformation of the original revolution. It ought to be said here that Khrushchev’s view of Lenin can be described as a myth. We know, for example, that an apparatus of repression of considerable size was established by Lenin in the immediate aftermath of the revolution, and that it was frequently used in the 1920s by Lenin against those he regarded as his opponents – even against those who supported the goals of the revolution and the construction of a socialist society. This has led some historians to argue that Stalin’s crimes were the natural development of Lenin’s actions, and of the October Revolution. This interpretation is open to dispute.
Discussion 2
At the most basic level, Khrushchev sees the deformation of Lenin’s heritage and his severe repression of the ranks of the party during the late 1930s as being the greatest of Stalin’s crimes. When he describes arrests, executions and the identification of ‘enemies of the people’, he is referring to events that took place during the sub-period of Stalin’s rule which I have called ‘the era of the purges’. One of the things that struck me about this speech is that Khrushchev only ever refers to crimes committed against the party, members of party bodies, and party organs. He omits many of Stalin’s crimes – for example, he never mentions the famine that followed collectivisation in 1932–33, in which six million died.
VIII. Activity (p. 137)
What image of Stalin is being promoted in Figures 5.3 and 5.4?
Discussion
The message here is clear: Stalin is identified in both of these posters as the leader of the transformation of the country which was underway during the first half of the 1930s. It is possible to imagine his association with the completion of a prestige project such as the Moscow metro as something that would increase his popularity. Given the tremendous hardship for many
Soviet citizens that agricultural collectivisation caused, one wonders about the likely impact of the first poster.
IX. Activity (p. 142)
Look at the images in Figures 5.5 and 5.6 and write down what you think they tell us about the nature of Stalin’s ‘cult’.
Discussion
There is a remarkable similarity between Figures 5.5 and 5.3. Just as Figure 5.3 is an exhortation – closely associated with the person of Stalin – to workers to join the collectivisation campaign, Figure 5.5 is an attempt to mobilise workers behind the fulfilment of the economic plan – an attempt to make workers work harder in the service of Stalin’s regime. You might wonder how connecting demands for more work to the regime’s political goals affected the leader’s popularity among those expected to work faster and harder in factories, mines and on construction sites across the Soviet Union! Figure 5.6 also raises this question, but does not provide clear answers. Clearly the vase was a celebration of the hard work of workers in the service of the war effort, and was a ‘gift’ to Stalin that both commemorated that fact and ‘thanked’ the leader for his leadership. Thus, it might be argued, it can be used as evidence of enthusiasm for the regime and the leader among workers at the moment of victory. But there is an alternative reading. Work campaigns were never voluntary, and the Soviet state exercised considerable coercive power against those who failed to conform to its demands. Therefore, the making and giving of the vase could be read as the product of an orchestrated performance of loyalty to Stalin by workers, obtained under the threat of repression.
X. Activity (p. 145)
Review your notes and the discussion of the activity on Khrushchev’s speech to the Twentieth Congress (Reading 5.1) at the beginning of this section. In what senses might Khrushchev be creating his own myth of Stalin – in opposition to the positive myth created in the 1930s? What is the content of that myth?
Discussion
You might have noted down the following points:
A. In opposition to the positive Stalin myth promoted during the 1930s and 1940s, Khrushchev creates an emphatically negative myth. In fact, you could well make the point that Khrushchev’s myth was created in direct opposition to the positive one that has been discussed in this section of the chapter.
B. Khrushchev attributes to Stalin direct responsibility for everything he regards as negative about Stalin’s era. Although there can be no doubt about Stalin’s primary responsibility for the extent of repression and state-directed murder during his rule, the nature of the historical processes that led to it was often much more complicated than Khrushchev’s account suggests.
C. By drawing a contrast between the behaviour of Lenin and Stalin, Khrushchev argues implicitly that the nature of Stalin’s dictatorship ran counter to the principles of 1917. As we saw earlier, this view can be challenged.
XI. Interpreting the Stalin's Era
The kinds of questions historians might ask in order to construct a historical account of the Stalin era, and thus assess Stalin’s reputation:
A. What was the nature of Stalin’s contribution to the history of the Soviet Union?
B. How far were his policies in the 1930s (for example, industrialisation and collectivisation) determined by his communist ideology, or a reaction to circumstances?
C. To what extent were the crimes of the era, like those committed during the Great Purges, directed personally by Stalin, or shaped by processes that escaped central control?
D. Did the policies Stalin pursued during the 1930s and 1940s help or hinder the Soviet Union in emerging victorious at the end of the Second World War?

XII. Activity (p. 147)
Go back to the outline of the Stalin era in Section 5.1 and review the section entitled ‘The era of the purges’. Then turn to Readings 5.2 and 5.3. These extracts offer differing accounts of the purges of the late 1930s, one written by Robert Conquest, and the other by Ronald Grigor Suny. Earlier in this section I gave you four examples of the sort of questions historians might ask in assessing Stalin’s reputation historically. Both these excerpts could be taken as ‘answers’ to my third question about the extent of Stalin’s responsibility for the purges. Each gives a different answer to this question.

Compare and contrast their explanations for the events of the late 1930s concerning:
1. the role of Stalin
2. the reason for the purges
3. the extent of the purges
4. the role of society.

Conquest Suny


The role of Stalin
Conquest argues that Stalin was in
complete control over the purges
which were directed in detail from
Moscow. Suny argues that ‘the will and ambition of Stalin’ was ‘the principal catalyst to the Terror’. He directed those trials and purges which affected the ruling elite, but in his last paragraph Suny argues that to some extent they escaped Stalin’s control, and spread.


The reason for the purges
The purges, or ‘the terror’ as Conquest calls it, was launched as a means of control, to terrorise and
subordinate the population to the
regime. Suny underlines the lack of consensus
among historians about the causes of the terror, but argues that they were about consolidation of the personal dictatorship of Stalin, and aimed at
tightening his control over the party and governmental elite.

The extent of
the purges

Conquest argues that ‘the terror was
directed against the population as a
whole’.
Suny argues that ‘the purges destroyed primarily those in power’.


The role of society
Society, according to Conquest, was
completely disorientated by the
purges. They broke the will of the
population to act independently of the
Soviet state. Suny suggests that social tensions in Soviet society played a role when the purges escaped Stalin’s control
and spread beyond Moscow to the
localities. He also argues that the
removal, imprisonment and murder of many in senior positions created
unprecedented opportunities for social
mobility.

XIII. Activity (p.149)
Turn to the extract from Scott’s memoir, Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia’s City of Steel, reproduced as Reading 5.4. Scott presents an account of the impact of the purges on the local society in Magnitogorsk. How far does this account support or contradict either of the two interpretations in Readings 5.2 and 5.3 (and do say if it doesn’t provide many pointers either way)? Divide up the issues in a similar way as in the previous activity: 1. the reason for the purges, 2. the extent of the purges, and
3. the role of society.
There is one significant exception: the section on ‘the role of Stalin’ is missing. This is because there is nothing in this extract that can help us ascertain Stalin’s role. You will almost certainly find it helpful to refer to the discussion in the previous activity.

Discussion:






The reason for the purges Scott cannot present any direct evidence that sheds light on the reason for the purges, but he assumes that Stalin must have been closely involved in them – note at the end of the extract that he attributes to Stalin a role in halting ‘the purge’. Clearly, though, his evidence suggests that the purges were essentially about the control of management and administration across the country. If one accepts Scott’s account – and one must accept that Scott was far from being in a position to know what the deliberations of NKVD or of politicians in Moscow were – then it seems unlikely that the purges were directed in detail by Stalin, as Conquest suggests, but nor is there sufficient evidence to back Suny’s contention that they escaped his control (though this does not seem unlikely from his chaotic de******ion of what happened in Magnitogorsk).




The extent of the purges While Scott alludes to the climate of fear that gripped Magnitogorsk (and the rest of the Soviet Union) during the peak years of the purges, his account suggests that Suny’s account is more likely to be correct than Conquest’s. He argues that those in management and administration were more likely to be targeted than manual workers, and hints that workers were able to use the climate of the purges as a weapon against management in the factories, while many gained opportunities for promotion as their superiors were locked up.



The role of society To some extent both Conquest’s and Suny’s accounts of the purges are supported by Scott’s account of life in Magnitogorsk. He records the climate of disorientation and fear brought about by the purges; he underlines that some arrests created opportunities for social mobility, as identified by Suny. More significantly, Scott shows how the extent of the arrests not only created fear, but could lead to explosive protests, which might in turn destabilise the regime.
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قديم 12-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #19
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الوحدة السادسة
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قديم 12-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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Chapter 6 -- The Diva
I. What is a DIVA?
Diva is Italian for goddess. A diva is someone of supreme talent, with great vocal facility and an ability to convey the emotional nuances of the music to her audience. To this artistic reputation is often added a particular personality – someone who is almost larger than life, with an identifiable public persona. The term ‘diva’ also carries the more negative connotations of one who is unreasonably demanding and difficult to work with, who storms off in rehearsals and refuses to communicate with colleagues.

Sir Charles Mackerras describes the diva thus:
I think it is an aura that some of them [singers] exude ... Something which many good, even excellent singers may not necessarily possess. There has to be something unusual as well as competent about a diva, something compelling about her personality, whether you like it or not, whether it be charming or repellent ... or both at the same time.
(quoted in Matheopoulos, 1998, p. xix)
Diva: feminine, applied to female singers of opera
Divo: masculine, applied to male singers of opera

In recent times the term diva has been applied more broadly to female singers working in a variety of musical styles and genres.
Examples: Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald,
Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and Madonna.
II. Madonna
A. Madonna as pop diva
Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (b. 1958) was possibly the biggest female pop star of the 1980s and early 1990s.
B. Reasons why she has fascinated and attracted the attention of both the public and the academics:
1. She has had more Number Ones and consecutive hits than any other woman.
2. She has received and been nominated for a plethora of music awards.
3. She has sold over 300 million records (100 million singles, 200 million albums) worldwide – more than any other female artist.
C. Madonna's musical considerations
1. Voice
It is somewhat ironic, then, that Madonna’s voice is often criticised as being the weakest aspect of her performance. But is this criticism justified?

Cases to be studied:
a. ‘Material Girl’, taken from her second album Like a Virgin (1984),
b. ‘Like a Prayer’, taken from her fourth album of the same name (1989).
Activity (p. 165)
I want you to listen to ‘Material Girl’ – you’ll find the song on track 1 of the Audio CD ‘The Diva’. As you listen, jot down a few words to describe Madonna’s vocal style.
Discussion:
I find Madonna’s voice to be quite thin and reedy, and lacking in power and resonance. In many respects, her voice does not display any of the vocal qualities typically associated with the diva. But in making such a judgement, are we not being somewhat unfair to Madonna? After all, she is a pop diva rather than an opera diva. Clearly, then, we will need to broaden our investigation to understand fully what ‘pop diva’ means in this specific context.
2. Author-producer-entrepreneur
Many commentators have highlighted the significant degree to which Madonna exerts influence and creative control over her product. One of the most important ways she achieves this is by overseeing the music’s authorship and production.
Activity (p. 166)
Turn to Reading 6.1 and read the extract from McClary’s article. Do you agree with her argument?
Discussion:
I find McClary’s argument persuasive, and the point regarding Madonna’s creative control over her songs is effectively made. However, I think that one aspect of her argument is contestable. Her assertion that ‘It is quite rare for women singers to contribute so much to the composition of their materials’ struck me as being rather odd. Bearing in mind the article’s date (1991), I’m sure you can think of other examples of female singer-songwriters that can be used to challenge this statement – Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush or Tracy Chapman may have come to mind. One thing is for certain, though: the notion of Madonna as a powerful woman, being in command of her own destiny and successful in the roles of author, producer and entrepreneur, makes for a highly appealing role model.
3. Image/persona
There is no doubting that she has star appeal and succeeds in attracting fans from diverse social, cultural and racial backgrounds. Madonna has always exercised control over her public persona – a characteristic common to many divas – but one can argue that she has taken it to an extreme; that her obsession with commercial success and fame has led her to change continually and manipulate her image to stay in the public eye.
4. Mass Media
Activity (p. 168)
Now turn to Reading 6.2, and read the extract from an article by musicologist Stan Hawkins. What is the main thrust of his argument?
Hawkins describes the importance of music video in relation to Madonna’s career. He suggests that Madonna’s fame and reputation
are partly due to the way that she has exploited video for promotional
purposes. The point he makes in the final sentence is also extremely
important. Indeed, the rapid development in methods of mass
communication over the last twenty to thirty years, and the
technological change that has accompanied it, has meant that many
different types of media – audio, video, television, film, newspaper,
magazine and the internet – now filter through to the remotest areas on
earth. Many celebrities, especially pop stars, are subjected to an unprecedented degree of global exposure. Madonna, then, is
unquestionably one of the most famous women on the planet.
D. Studying some other songs more closely:
1. ‘I hear you call my name’ – the lyrics
Activity (p. 168)
What I’d like you to do first is to listen to the first part of the song on track 2 of the Audio CD, up to time index 1'46". As you do so, listen closely to the lyrics. You may wish to jot down some of the most prominent words as you listen. As Chapter 1 has made you aware, poems can be intentionally ambiguous – they can have a number of meanings. Song lyrics too can have multiple meanings, chiefly depending on how they are received and understood. So what do you think this song is about?
Discussion:
Unlike many of Madonna’s songs, the lyrics for ‘Like a Prayer’ do not outline a clear narrative. How are we, then, to interpret the words? There is plenty of religious imagery here – praying, angels, heaven, God. Madonna, though, is apparently addressing an earthly being, promising ****phorically to take them ‘there’. But where precisely is ‘there’? A higher spiritual plane? A higher sexual plane? Perhaps this song is to be understood as an innocent love song – or not. Listen to the first part of the song again, still focusing on the words, and, if it helps, write down a few thoughts before moving on.
2. ‘Now I’m dancing’ – the music
Different genres mixed in this song: disco, rap and electronica
Activity: (p. 169)
In ‘Like a Prayer’ Madonna skilfully blends with her usual style of pop a very well-known style of music. Now listen to the complete song on track 2 of the Audio CD and see if you can identify this other style.
Discussion:
Madonna appropriates black Gospel music. This is a form of African-American religious music, featuring large church choirs and virtuoso soloists, whose vocal style is characterised by a fervent energy and spiritual ecstasy. A Gospel choir and female soloist (a Gospel diva, perhaps) are prominent throughout ‘Like a Prayer’, especially so in the section from 3'38" to 4'12", where joyous vocal exclamations from the choir are overlaid with soulful improvising from the soloist – a form of ‘call and response’ that is characteristic of traditional African-American Gospel music.

Activity (p. 170)
Now I want you to listen to the song again. This time concentrate on
Madonna’s vocal style, as you did with ‘Material Girl’. How does it compare with the earlier track?
Discussion:
Madonna’s vocal style is strikingly different from that on ‘Material
Girl’. Far from being thin and lacking in power, Madonna’s voice is
strong and rich; in fact it complements the Gospel style very well. By
comparing the two tracks you can appreciate how Madonna’s voice
developed and matured within a relatively short space of time. In fact,
maturity is one of the overriding characteristics of Like a Prayer, and
the album undoubtedly helped establish Madonna as a serious artist.
3. ‘I wanna take you there’ – the music video
Activity (p. 170)
To conclude our work in this section, I want you to listen to the complete song again. While listening, think of all of the aspects of the music that you’ve worked on, especially the instrumentation, the vocal characteristics of both Madonna and the Gospel choir, and how the music relates to the lyrics. I also want you to listen out for some of the tensions inherent in the song – pop/Gospel, calm/movement, spiritual/sexual. These provide a somewhat unsettled undercurrent to the music. This turbulence is brought prominently to the surface in the music video.
Discussion:
As Hawkins (Reading 6.2) highlighted, Madonna was one of the first pop artists to recognise the importance of music video. She also learned that it could liberate her songs from a purely sonic experience, and could extend and enhance their narrative possibilities. The video contains a number of controversial images, including burning crosses, a statue of a black Jesus behind bars, stigmata (wounds of Christ) on Madonna’s hands, and an interracial kiss. Although the song itself is undoubtedly a self-sufficient textual and musical structure, the video opens up a variety of new meanings. Of course, you may think that the images are there to foreground and sell the music, as well as to promote the singer. There is always plenty of room for cynicism where Madonna is concerned!

Conclusion:
Clearly, then, Madonna’s success and reputation extend well beyond her musical and vocal talents, although these in themselves are significant. Her status as a pop diva is also due to other factors, including her chameleon-like image, the notion of her as a powerful female and controversial figure, and the ways in which her work is disseminated.
III. SOME BASIC MUSICAL LANGUAGE
Activity (p. 171)
Listen to track 3 on the Audio CD while following the lyrics in Reading 6.3. This is the first section of the aria ‘Una voce poco fa’ from the opera The Barber of Seville (first performed in 1816) by Rossini (1792–1868), sung by the legendary soprano Maria Callas, whom you will study in more depth in Section 6.5. As you listen, try to describe the vocal melody using everyday words. Listen as many times as necessary, using the printed lyrics to help you follow the music until you are happy with your de******ion.
Discussion:
I would describe the performance of the vocal line as smooth (the technical term for ‘smooth’ is legato), even though the rhythm is not so smooth. There are several high notes, in the upper part of the voice between 1'04" and 1'45", which Callas seems to produce effortlessly, and the section ends with a final flourish, or ornament, crafted to display her vocal agility – and perhaps improvising skills: the composer wrote only four notes here (2'31"). All this technical vocal control is typical of the opera diva, but it amounts to nothing if there is not also the musicality to convey the sentiments of the text. It is the combination of both that creates a true star of the opera house.

Activity (p. 172)
Listen to track 3 again, this time concentrating on the orchestra. How does its music relate to the vocal line? Is it similar in character? Try to describe the sound of the orchestra when it accompanies the voice.
Discussion:
The orchestral music is notably different from that of the singer, although it also uses uneven rhythms. These uneven rhythms give the opening phrases an almost fanfare quality, and there is nothing here that relates to the first vocal phrase. Indeed, it is difficult to guess from this introduction what the first vocal entry will be like. When the voice enters at 0'37", the orchestra plays very little in the accompaniment. If you tried to describe the texture at this point, you could use words such as ‘thin’ or ‘light’ – the kind of words that we generally use to describe texture. This lightness is achieved not only by writing very little for the orchestra to play, but by asking the string instruments to play pizzicato, or plucked.
IV. TRAINING TO BECOME A DIVA
Although opera students are required to study many subjects – for example, languages, stagecraft and movement – in addition to singing, and tackle several operatic roles suited to their voice type and particular stage of development.
V. MARIA CALLAS AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE HISTORIC RECORDING
A. Biography
Activity (p. 174-5)
Apart from the fact of having sung particular operas in various places, what
other events in the chronology in Reading 6.4 strike you as possibly having
contributed to Callas’s fame?
Here are some things that strike me:
1. Her international career was short. It was only in the late 1940s that she made her breakthrough, and ten years later she stopped appearing regularly on the opera stage. She was only 42 when she finally retired from the stage, and she died at the age of just 54.
2. Her spectacular weight loss in 1954 was, unsurprisingly, much reported and debated in the press. She became a glamorous figure and was subjected to intense public scrutiny.
3. When she retired, she did not fall from public view. The decline in her opera appearances coincided with the ending of her marriage and the start of her very public relationship with the most prominent Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, who was to leave her to marry Jacqueline Kennedy (he had never married Callas). This was all covered extensively in the press. Callas came to be seen as a somewhat tragic figure, a view heightened by reports of her last years spent as a recluse in Paris and her solitary death.
B. Callas as a singer: Puccini’s Tosca

Activity (p. 177)
Listen now to an extract in which Callas sings Tosca, and Tito Gobbi sings Scarpia (Gobbi was as fine a singer as Callas but, being male and a baritone, not subjected to such media coverage). You will also hear brief contributions from Cavaradossi and Spoletta (the police investigator who has arrested Cavaradossi).The extract is on track 5 of the Audio CD, and the Italian words and their translation are given as Reading 6.5. You’ll notice that occasional phrases are repeated in the music, but you should nevertheless find it possible to follow the libretto. Even if you have never heard this opera or Callas before, attempt to describe the impression that she makes in this scene. Try to put into words how she sings, how she acts, how she responds to the meaning of words. Does she bring the character of Tosca to life?
Discussion:
The most important thing in a role like Tosca is not just the quality of the voice, but whether the singer manages to make the character and her situation seem real. There are singers who sound more beautiful than Callas in this music, whose tone is more even from the bottom to the top of the voice, and who have more pleasing high notes. Callas sometimes struggles to control a rather aggressive wobble in her top register, particularly when she is singing loudly (an affliction of many opera singers). She battled throughout her career against vocal problems (real and imaginary, according to some commentators). What Callas has – which nobody else has in quite the same way – is an extraordinarily powerful and sensitive way of acting the words as she sings them. You don’t need to see her in the theatre to sense the force of this. When she sings quietly, her voice has a slightly husky, veiled quality, which can sound tender or vulnerable. The emotional range of her singing is very wide. In this passage she conveys violent anguish and anger, rising to a powerful climax and then subsiding into broken tearfulness. This is enhanced by the contrasting impression of implacable power and determination given by Gobbi as Scarpia. The two play off each other magnificently. Of course, it is not just the singers who achieve this. The conductor, Victor de Sabata, paces the scene with great power, drawing out the menace and drive of the music from the very fine orchestra. Reports of the recording sessions reveal that de Sabata was meticulous in his attention to every dramatic, as well as musical, detail of the score, making the singers repeat some passages many times.
C. The music of the scene
Activity (178)
First of all, try to put out of your mind the music you have just heard, and read through the words of the extract reproduced in Reading 6.5. This libretto was adapted by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica from a play by the French dramatist Victorien Sardou. How would you describe the impression these words make, just as a ****** without music?
The lines are very short, and the conversation is abrupt and disjointed. The words do not flow, and there is little that is obviously poetical or ‘musical’ about them. They are blunt, realistic. Acted on their own, without music, they would need great care and dramatic effort in order to make them come alive on the stage.

Activity (p. 178-9)
Now listen to the CD performance of this extract again. Make a note of any
points in the music that strike you. If something seems particularly effective,
try to identify what makes it sound like that. Don’t worry if you are not
ac******ed to musical analysis of this kind; just try to describe your
impressions of how the music of the scene goes. How is the music paced?
How does it change in volume (dynamics)? Is there a striking effect in the
orchestra? Do you notice repetitions of musical phrases?
Discussion:
I described the emotional range of Callas’s singing as very wide. The same is true of Puccini’s music. The passage begins and ends quietly, with the voices low, both in pitch and in dynamic (pianissimo), but between these points there are two great climaxes, with each singer singing at the top of his and her register, and very loudly (fortissimo). Puccini’s writing for the orchestra is very cleverly calculated: the general effect is of great power, but the orchestra only plays very loudly when the singers are singing very high, so that they can still be heard; and the full power of the orchestra is only used when the singers are not singing.

Another striking feature of this scene is how Puccini has taken the disjointed, short-winded text, and used the music to glue it together into a coherent whole. He does this partly by careful dramatic pacing. The scene starts quite slowly, then suddenly increases in pace (at 0'13"), driving forward to the first climax (which is reached at 0'56").

Then, after Cavaradossi’s offstage shout, the orchestra becomes quiet again, and starts a second build-up to a climax. This time the character of the orchestral writing is quite different. It consists of short, repeated phrases, building higher and higher, with a menacing character added by the snarling of muted trumpets (at 1'03" and 1'18"). Repetition is an important key to how this scene is built. There is quite a subtle example of this right at the beginning. The rhythm of the opening two musical phrases – ‘Orsù, Tosca, parlate./Non so nulla’ – is subjected to repetition.
D. Prestige and the opera house
1. Opera began as a sophisticated court entertainment in Italy at the beginning of the seventeenth century, with the intention of recreating the principles of ancient Greek drama for an elite audience. Now in the twenty-first century, opera and opera houses have become symbols of prestige across the world, the music widely disseminated by recordings and on television. In Italy, where opera began and where the language of many opera libretti is the language of the country, opera has been, since the nineteenth century, a genre that appeals to a wide social spectrum.... There is nothing inherently elitist about opera in Italy. In other countries, the position of opera is rather different, and each country has its own relationship with Italian opera. What is observable worldwide is the role of opera houses as places symbolising national success and prestige.
2. Types of Opera Houses:
a. Traditional opera houses are often extravagantly baroque in style, with grand staircases, glittering chandeliers, and seats and curtains of red velvet with gold decoration.
b. The new opera houses around the world vary in style, and the building materials may be glass, steel and concrete, but the same basic principle applies – that an opera house should look grand, exciting and expensive, more so than an ordinary theatre.
3. Atmosphere of Opera:
Glamour is at the heart of the opera establishment, whatever the social range of those who buy the tickets. The personalities who succeed in it must be huge, both to command the stage over the sound of a large orchestra, and to withstand the pressure and publicity of the world outside the opera house.
VI. THE CONCERTO DELLE DONNE OF FERRARA
A. Luzzaschi, court composer:
The most celebrated composer/performer at Alfonso’s court was Luzzasco Luzzaschi (c. 1545–1607), who was associated with the duke’s musica segreta, or private concerts, from about 1570. Luzzaschi’s main contribution to the court repertoire was several sets of madrigals, secular songs setting Italian texts, although he is also noted for his harpsichord music, being a proficient keyboard performer himself. Many of his madrigals were written for a group of virtuosic female singers – the Concerto delle donne. These ladies were famous throughout Italy, and many poets and composers became infatuated with them. This infatuation can only have been heightened by the private nature of the concerts and the restrictions on the persons admitted to them. Alfonso not only jealously guarded his singing ladies from public spectacle, but he also guarded his secret repertoire, with the result that Luzzaschi’s madrigals were only published in
1601, four years after the Duke’s death.
B. Concerto delle donne:
1. Laura Peverara (c. 1545–1601): She is the best documented of the four. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant in Mantua and, like the other ladies in this ensemble, attracted the poetic attentions of the well-known Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544–95). However, unlike the others, she was the one-time object of Tasso’s affections, receiving seventy-five poems from him between 1563 and 1567. Eventually she married Count Annibale Turco in 1583, an occasion that Tasso marked by presenting her with a madrigal collection, Il lauro verde, containing settings of poems by himself and other poets of the Ferrarese court by some of the foremost composers of the day. This is one of three such collections that he dedicated to Laura, bearing witness to his affections towards her and reflecting her singing talent. In one of these collections, the texts praise Laura’s beauty, ask her to sing, and describe the birds stopping to listen to her. Duke Alfonso clearly held her in high regard, accepting her husband as a gentleman of the court and providing the couple with the palace apartments that once belonged to his sister Leonora.
2. Anna Guarini (d. 1598): Little is known of her except that she was the daughter of the poet and Ferrarese diplomat Giovanni Battista Guarini. In the mid 1580s she married a gentleman of the court, Ercole Trotti, who, driven by jealousy and suspicion, killed her.
3. Tarquinia Molza (1542–1617): She was also the daughter of a poet, Francesco Maria Molza. Tarquinia was married in 1560 and widowed in 1569 at the age of twenty-seven. She conducted an affair with Giaches Wert, court composer at Mantua, after the death of his wife in 1583, which resulted in her being banished from court in 1589.
4. Livia d’Arco (d. 1611): She was the daughter of Conte d’Arco, a minor noble of Mantua. She too married a courtier at Ferrara, one Alfonso Bevilacqua, a close friend of the Duke. The Duke demonstrated his regard for Livia by taking part in a joust in her honour.

Activity (p. 186):
Turn to the extracts in Readings 6.6–6.8. What do these tell us about the singing of the ladies in this ensemble? Try to note four points.
Discussion:
Here is my summary of what these documents tell us about this ensemble.
1. Although it was clearly a great honour to be invited to listen to this group singing, the style of music was not to everyone’s taste. Urbani, who tells us of the honour associated with such an invitation, and who had himself been kept waiting for some months, tells us that the music was not to his liking. Cavalier Grana, on the other hand, seems to appreciate the skill involved in singing the more difficult pieces.
2. The ladies sang in different combinations – solo, duet and trio – and were accompanied on the harpsichord.
3. Professional musicians, such as the composer Striggio, were impressed by the skill of these ladies in being able to sing all the music placed before them, no matter the difficulty.
4. This form of courtly entertainment most commonly took place before a small audience after dining. Urbani indicates that possibly as few as four people were present, while Cavalier Grana and Lombardini suggest that two male guests were invited to the musical evening in the Duchess’s apartments.
C. The Ferrarese madrigals:
The madrigal is a short vocal work generally light-hearted in nature, and so is ideal as after-dinner entertainment. There are two main compositional techniques associated with the madrigal, imitation and word painting. The cultivation of the madrigal is particularly associated with the courts of Ferrara and Mantua throughout the sixteenth century. The purchasing and commissioning of madrigals was closely linked with the success of court musicians: the better the musicians, the more music that was required; providing more music encouraged the musicians to develop their performing skills, and so the cycle continued.
D. Historical voices:
One of the challenges for music scholars today is to understand the sound and musical ability of performers before the age of recording.
1. Two main sources of information:
a. Contemporary accounts of performances
b. The music itself
2. The challenges of these sources:
a. No evaluation of performers' musical skills/abilities: Readings 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8 give some sketchy contemporary accounts of performances at the court in Ferrara, but these place more emphasis on the private nature of the concerts than on the virtuosic ability of the singers.
b. Reliability: Although some writers praise the beauty of the ladies’ singing, it is not clear from their writings if this is a true reflection of what they heard, or whether their words were written to please the Duke and further advertise the artistic endeavours of his court.
3. What helps to draw conclusions from such sources:
a. Expert's views: However, the report of Striggio’s experience (Reading 6.8) surely indicates the high standards of singing that could be heard in Ferrara since, as a composer and renowned singer himself, he was well placed to appreciate the accomplishments of fellow performers.
b. Type of source: Further testament to the vocal abilities of these ladies is given in the printed music. This is music that could only have been performed by the most accomplished singers, and is comparable with the vocal acrobatics of later operatic arias, such as that studied in Section 6.3 above. We know that Luzzaschi as court composer was writing for voices that were well known to him, which gives us the confidence to take his madrigals as a clear indication of the abilities of the Concerto delle donne.









AGlossary of Musical Terms


 accompaniment: musical support of the solo line(s). This can be instrumental or vocal or a combination of both, and may duplicate the solo line or be independent.
 aria: Italian for ‘song’, one of the set items of an opera. In general, an aria tends to have a song-like melody and contains some repetition of text, which brings the action to a halt.
 baritone: a middle-ranging male voice.
 composition: the techniques and process by means of which the various elements of a work of art are organised into a whole; also, the end result.
 disco: a style of dance music very popular in the late 1970s and early 80s, characterised by a strong, lively beat and use of synthesisers. The term is derived from the French discothèque – record library – referring to a club where you dance to records.
 dynamics: indication of the volume of music, often relative to surrounding passages. The most common words used are piano (softly), forte (loudly).
 electronica: a broad term used to describe any dance-based electronic music created by using computer systems and other electronic devices. Includes many different styles, such as techno, house, trance and trip-hop.
 forte: indicates the music is to be played or sung loudly. Abbreviated on printed music to f.
 fortissimo: indicates the music is to be played or sung very loudly. Abbreviated on printed music to ff.
 harpsichord: early keyboard instrument in which the sound is produced by quills plucking the strings, instead of striking them with hammers as for a piano.
 imitation: a technique where the music sung by one voice is immediately repeated by a second voice, although the similarity may last only for the first few notes of the phrase concerned.
 legato: direction that the music is to be played or sung smoothly.
 madrigal: a secular (not religious) song cultivated during the Renaissance, intended for domestic entertainment.
 opera: a dramatic work set to music throughout, i.e. with no spoken dialogue.
 ornament: a device used to decorate a long note, or ending of the last phrase, by dividing it into shorter components.
 patronage: the support of wealthy or influential people.
 pianissimo: indicates the music is to be played or sung very softly. Abbreviated on printed music to pp.
 piano: indicates the music is to be played or sung softly. Abbreviated on printed music to p.
 pizzicato: plucking the strings on an instrument that is usually played with a bow.
 pop: music an umbrella term typically applied to chart music that appeals to a wide audience. Pop music is accessible, commercial, marketable and memorable, with catchy choruses or verses.
 producer: a popular music producer can have many roles, including choosing the material for the artist, directing the performers, supervising the recording sessions, organising the musical arrangement of the song, and supervising technical processes such as mixing and mastering.
 rap: a genre of music in which a person talks rapidly over a beat (rapping) in a form of improvised street poetry. Originating in the 1970s among black and Hispanic teenagers in New York’s outer boroughs, the genre quickly became one of the most important and influential forms of popular music in the 1980s and 90s.
 soprano: highest sounding female voice.
 tenor: highest sounding male voice.
 texture: the method by which different lines of music are woven together.
 virtuoso: a performer of extraordinary technical skill and musical ability; the adjective ‘virtuosic’ is used to describe such a person, or music that requires a performer with these talents.
 word painting: illustrating a particular word by a musical device that represents the sound or emotion of that word.
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Chapter 7
The Dalai Lama

I. Myth Vs. History:
Myth is a distortion that cannot be supported by evidence, whereas history is an account of the past that is based on a careful interpretation of evidence. In relation to questions of ultimate meaning – such as those concerning death and the reasons why people suffer – people often look to myths for answers. We might, then, see myth not as a distortion of evidence, but as an explanation for things that seem to be beyond rational
thought or experience.
II. Religion:
A system of practices, institutions and beliefs that provides meaning to life and death. Religions attempt to answer the really big questions, and they often do that through myths which, no matter whether they are ‘true’ or ‘false’ in a historical or scientific sense, are nonetheless powerful. Religious Studies is concerned with history and with claims about truth, but also with the nature and power of the myths that shape cultures.
III. ‘Who is the Dalai Lama?’
According to where you look, the Dalai Lama is:
A. A Tibetan Buddhist monk. This is the way he prefers to describe himself and the reason why we always see him dressed in maroon and yellow robes (see Figure 7.1). He has been a monk all his life.
B. The spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people. This may have been true before the 1950s when the Chinese encroached on – or, alternatively, liberated – the areas where the majority of Tibetans live but, as we shall see, the Dalai Lama’s role has been forced to change.
C. A living Buddha. The Buddha of India, who started the religion we call Buddhism, lived in the fifth century BCE. A Buddha is someone who is enlightened. According to Buddhism, enlightened beings understand the way things really are, and are not subject to the suffering, greed and hatred that characterise the lives of nonenlightened beings. The Dalai Lama recognises that he is sometimes given this status and we will consider what it means in due course.
D. A Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Dalai Lama, an admirer of the pacifist policies of Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
E. An ecological activist. The Dalai Lama has been outspoken on the degradation of the natural environment (which is not directly addressed in traditional Buddhist texts, all of which predate the ecological problems that the world now faces).
F. An enemy of the People’s Republic of China. Accused by the Chinese of hypocrisy and a lack of wisdom, the Dalai Lama, though loved by the great majority of his own people and respected across much of the western world, is regarded by the Chinese in a much more negative way.
IV. Two Views of the Dalai Lama:
A. In the West: he is usually presented in largely positive terms, often as a wise follower of peaceful resistance.
B. The regime of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sees him as an enemy and accuses him of hypocrisy.
V. The Dalai Lama and the West
Known for embracing Gandhi’s pacifist policies in relation to the Chinese invasion of Tibet and for his pronouncements on human rights and ecological preservation, the Dalai Lama provokes a response from diverse western institutions and political and business concerns.
A. He holds numerous honorary degrees from western universities.
B. He has held talks with world leaders from the realms of politics and religion, and is much in demand from western converts to, or sympathisers with, Buddhism.
C. He is the author of well over a hundred books available in English and other European languages.
D. He also makes appearances on BBC travel programmes, has been used in the USA to advertise Apple computers (see Figure 7.2), and been profiled in Hello magazine.
Activity (p. 202):
In 1989 the Dalai Lama was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Read the citation and his acceptance speech in the Resources section (Readings 7.1 and 7.2). The Dalai Lama’s opposition to violence – for which he was awarded the prize – relates specifically to the activities of the PRC in Tibetan areas. He refers to this in the speech and to the plan the Tibetan government in exile put to the PRC in 1987. However, much of the speech emphasises universalism: the idea that all human beings, wherever they are located in space and time, are subject to the same experiences and responsibilities. How does he emphasise common human experience and why do you think he does this?
Discussion
First the Dalai Lama accepts the prize on behalf of the oppressed everywhere and for all those who are working for peace and freedom. At the very beginning of his speech he makes clear that although he accepts the prize on behalf of his own people, the Tibetans, he also wants to include others who are in similar circumstances.

He then goes on to argue that all beings are basically the same, with the same concerns, and you may have noticed that he includes the people of China within that. Nearer the end of the speech, after he has made reference to the specific situation between Tibet and China, he returns again to the theme of universality. The idea that suffering is caused by ignorance is central to Buddhist doctrine, but the Dalai Lama uses language that is accessible to non-Buddhists, and he goes so far as to say that universal responsibility for humanity and for the planet is not dependent on a religious perspective. You will notice that he also refers to scientific advance and emphasises that science and religion are not at odds, especially in relation to the natural environment.
As for why the Dalai Lama has constructed his speech in this way, I think it is clear that he sees the way forward for humanity to lie in cooperative action, and in order for that to happen it is necessary to emphasise common human experience rather than specific ethnic or cultural differences.
VI. The western love affair with Buddhism
A. The Dalai Lama's emphasis on keeping one's own religion:
In general I am in favor of people continuing to follow the religion of their own culture and inheritance. Of course, individuals have every right to change if they find that a new religion is more effective or suitable for their spiritual needs. But, generally speaking, it is better to experience the value of one’s own religious tradition. [...] If you are a Christian, it is better to develop spiritually within your religion and be a genuine, good Christian. If you are a Buddhist, be a genuine Buddhist. Not something half-and-half!
(Dalai Lama, 1996, pp. 45–6)
B. The Dalai Lama's attitude in this speech: ACCEPTING
Buddhism is and always has been a missionary religion. Ever since the time of the Buddha in India, Buddhists have believed that they follow the best possible religious teaching and there are structures within the tradition for the instruction of others. All versions of Buddhism have the same broad aims, which can be summarised as happiness and understanding.
C. The Dalai Lama’s reputation in the West is based partly on the kinds of qualities that won him the Nobel Prize, but it is enhanced by the fact that Buddhism is enjoying a high profile.
1. It is associated in many people’s minds with the allure of the Orient and linked with a positive – if rather vague – notion of ‘spirituality’.
2. Aspects of Buddhist teaching and practice have become absorbed by western culture. Buddhist techniques for training the mind have been adopted and adapted for therapeutic purposes on all levels of counselling and psychology.
3. Since Buddhism has always seen its message as relevant for everyone, not just for a clearly defined ethnic population, this portable and adaptable religion has moved readily and been welcomed in places where traditional religious positions – for example, belief in a personal, all-powerful God – have waned. Buddhism offers an explanation for suffering and evil which is very different from that offered by monotheistic traditions (which believe in one God) and many find eastern ideas more acceptable than traditional, western, religious or non-religious ideologies.
4. Another reason why some westerners find Buddhism attractive is that it teaches that faith, though important, is not the way to salvation, as it is in Christianity. Instead, Buddhism emphasises practice built on questioning and experience, and this has caught the spirit of the time. Its promoters argue that Buddhism offers practical ways to improve the experience of life. These methods, such as meditation, can be embraced on different levels so that even active Christians and Jews, as well as those who identify with no religion, can and do incorporate techniques derived from Buddhism into their lives.
VII. The Tradition of the Dalai Lamas
A. What is a Dalai Lama according to the tradition to which he belongs? Who do the Tibetan people believe the Dalai Lama to be? Who does the present Dalai Lama think he is?
Activity (p. 206)
Now read the following paragraph, taken from the Dalai Lama’s autobiography, Freedom in Exile. Here he acknowledges that his reputation is complex and he tells us how he views himself. Again, don’t worry if some of the concepts mentioned here are unfamiliar: it is part of the role of this chapter to explain them to you. This paragraph falls into three sections, which I will call religious status, political role and self-identity. Can you identify these?

Dalai Lama means different things to different people. To some it means that I am a living Buddha, the earthly manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion. To others it means that I am a ‘god-king’. During the late 1950s it meant that I was a Vice-President of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. Then when I escaped into exile, I was called a counterrevolutionary and a parasite. But none of these are my ideas. To me ‘Dalai Lama’ is a title that signifies the office I hold. I myself am just a human being, and incidentally a Tibetan, who chooses to be a monk.
(Dalai Lama, 1990, p. ix)
Discussion
The first section is about the Dalai Lama’s religious status. This is the section that is likely to seem most strange and unfamiliar. The Dalai Lama acknowledges here that he is regarded as a Buddha, as the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and as a god-king.
The second section is about his political power: the king half of god-king is a
political role, and the Dalai Lama tells us that he has been a member of
a committee of the PRC but is now regarded by the government of the PRC as
a counter-revolutionary.
Third, the Dalai Lama tells us how he thinks of himself.
B. Tibetan, Buddhist worldview of the Dalai Lama
This Tibetan view of how the world operates was developed from classical Indian Buddhism. Buddhism became the official religion of Tibet in the second half of the eighth century CE and there has been a Dalai Lama in Tibet since the sixteenth century. Then the title was applied to a prominent teacher by the Mongol king, Altan Khan, and applied retrospectively to two of that teacher’s predecessors. Translated literally, Dalai Lama means something like ‘Ocean of Wisdom’, but this does not tell us very much about his significance. More helpful is that the Tibetan word lama corresponds to the Indian word guru. A guru is a religious teacher who deserves the respect and devotion of his followers. In Tibetan, lama is also closely related to the word for mother, which gives a nurturing dimension to the role of a religious teacher.
The present Dalai Lama is, in many ways, a modern man with an interest in science and technology. He regards his title as referring to the office he holds, but he accepts that the series of Dalai Lamas are linked with each other and with enlightened Buddhas in a special way. The Dalai Lama is the most important lama for the Tibetans. He has religious status of the very highest kind, and because religion and politics were integrated in traditional Tibetan society he is also the head of the Tibetan state.


C. The Dalai Lama as Chenresig
Buddhists believe that all sentient beings (beings who perceive through the power of the senses, whether they be humans, animals, gods or ghosts) age, die and are reborn again and again in a tiresome cycle called samsara. According to Buddhist doctrine, birth, life, ageing, illness and death are intrinsically unsatisfactory and painful but, even so, beings cling on to existence and continually crave for things: for sensual pleasures of all kinds, for life, or for the end of life. It is this longing or desire, whatever its focus, that keeps them trudging from life to life, and they experience birth, ageing, illness and death over and over again. Beings in samsara suffer: they are not at ease. They experience feelings such as anger and hatred and they fail to understand the nature of life and their place within it. Buddhists call this dis-ease, or unsatisfactoriness, dukkha.
The Buddha of fifth century BCE India, who pointed out the truth of dukkha and showed that dukkha is caused by craving, did not deny that good things happen and that beings can Experience transient happiness, but he claimed that these good things and this happiness are
ultimately unsatisfactory because they are impermanent: even as something good happens, it is tainted by the thought that it cannot last.

The aim of Buddhist practice is real happiness, and the end of pain and suffering. This can only come about when all longings and desires have ended, breaking the cycle of samsara. This is what Buddhists call enlightenment and it occurs when ignorance ends and beings understand the way things really are. When they die, all unenlightened beings are reborn into a new life. The nature of this new life is automatically determined by past actions and intentions. Human beings have a distinct advantage over animals and other categories of being because they can control their actions and intentions in this life, and can choose to act in skilful ways which may lead towards rather than away from wisdom and ethical conduct. The benefit of this, from a Buddhist perspective, is that skilful intentions and actions automatically and inevitably lead towards happiness and an advantageous rebirth. Conversely, unskilful actions lead automatically and inevitably towards unhappiness and a disadvantageous rebirth. The precise nature of rebirth – where one is reborn and in what circumstances – is not controlled by God or gods. Instead, the law of karma – cause and effect – which operates naturally and automatically will determine where and how a being is reborn. Actions that people perform, and the intentions that lie behind them, lead inexorably to results in this life and the next, including the nature of future rebirths.

Buddhism teaches that those who take this seriously and assiduously examine these doctrines in order to understand and apply them can end their experience of suffering. Relevant for our purposes here is that, along the way, they can also acquire certain skills. One such skill is the ability to determine the specific nature and place of their future rebirths. According to Tibetan tradition, the Dalai Lamas have this skill and for them, as for other lineages of special teachers, this ability is of an advanced nature. It is believed that when they die, such lamas can choose where they are reborn and they may leave coded instructions for their followers so that they can be found.

Buddhas (like the Buddha of fifth-century BCE India), and associated beings called Bodhisattvas, have come by their own efforts to understand the nature of life in samsara, and they are free from the unsatisfactoriness, anger, hatred and ignorance that characterise it. Instead of blundering along within samsara they have the understanding to escape from it. Rather than escaping, however, they may stay in samsara to help other suffering beings. The Dalai Lamas are closely associated with a particular Bodhisattva, the popular Bodhisattva of compassion called in Sanskrit Avalokiteshvara. The same being is known in Tibetan as Chenresig
(pronounced Chen ré zee). In some sense the Dalai Lamas are considered to be Chenresig. This is part of the reason why Tibetans believe that the Dalai Lama is a living Buddha.
D. The Dalai Lama's de******ion of his role as Chenresig:
I am held to be the reincarnation of each of the previous thirteen Dalai Lamas of Tibet (the first having been born in Tibet in 1351 AD [CE]), who are in turn considered to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, or Chenresig, Bodhisattva of Compassion ... Thus I am believed also to be a manifestation of Chenresig ... I am often asked whether I truly believe this. The answer is not simple to give. As a fifty-six year old, when I consider my experiences during this present life and given my Buddhist beliefs, I have no difficulty accepting that I am spiritually connected both to the thirteen previous Dalai Lamas, to Chenresig and to the Buddha himself.
(Dalai Lama, 1990, p. 12)
E. The Dalai Lama as a ‘god-king’
From the time of the fifth Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lamas have been the heads of the Tibetan state. Not all the Dalai Lamas have reached adulthood and there have been extended periods when regents have ruled instead. A new Dalai Lama cannot be born until his predecessor has died, so there is always a gap of many years while the new holder of the office is born, grows to maturity, and is trained in Buddhist practice and statehood.

The Dalai Lamas were the most powerful figures in Tibet before the Chinese incursions, but the powers they exercised were limited. Their primary concern, at least in theory, was the propagation of Buddhism and they had little involvement in the everyday lives of their people.

The practical power of the Dalai Lamas in Tibet was also weakened by the fact that the central government in the capital city of Lhasa had little influence over people’s lives. Why?
1. Tibet is high in the Himalayan mountain range: the terrain and climate are inhospitable, making a livelihood as well as travel difficult.
2. The people viewed the Dalai Lamas as human incarnations of Chenresig and therefore thought they could be trusted to rule effectively so, in general, they saw no need to take an interest in government. People in rural areas were left to get on with their lives largely undisturbed.
3. Tibetan structures of authority at local as well as at state level were not based on commands issued from the top. Instead, power to make decisions was negotiated between households and the monasteries as more or less equal partners
F. Some important Dalai Lamas:
According to Paul Williams, among the Dalai Lamas there have been ‘great scholars, powerful politicians or simply Buddhist monks that died young before they could make much impact’. The reputation of the Dalai Lamas does not rest on their personal qualities or proclivities, but instead on their traditional status.
1. The Great Fifth Dalai Lama (1617–82) has a reputation as having been a highly successful politician who was able to unify the country.
2. The seventh and eighth were uninterested in politics, and the ninth to the twelfth all died young.
3. The thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso (1876–1933), the immediate predecessor of the current Dalai Lama, living at a time when foreign powers, the British among them, took a close interest in Tibet, was forced to become a political strategist.
4. The sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso (1683–1706), is not remembered for his political strategy or for skill in study, but for his love poems. Tsangyang Gyatso was identified as the sixth Dalai Lama in his teens, rather later than the usual pattern. When taken together, his sixty-six verses suggest that his primary interest was in young women and sex, and not in learning about Tibetan tradition. As far as we can tell, the fact that the sixth Dalai Lama acted like a normal teenager was not regarded as a particular problem at the time, even though, as a monk, he was supposed to be celibate. It was a problem that he refused to take full monastic vows and rejected even the novice vows he had taken when young; the Dalai Lamas are supposed to be monks and teachers as well as politicians. Tsangyang Gyatso died at only nineteen and there has always been the suspicion that he was murdered.

Below are two examples from a collection of sixty-six verses which have been attributed to him.

Verse 17
Before a great lama,
I asked for holy help.
No good – though thoughts delayed,
They slipped back to my love.

Verse 53
I sought my love at dusk;
Snow had fallen at dawn.
Why bother with secrets?
– Footprints left in the snow!
(Williams, 2004, pp. 77, 113)

These poems give some indication of the character of the sixth Dalai Lama. In the first of the two we read of the tension he felt between what he knew he should be thinking about – his studies – and what he was actually thinking about – his mistress. In the second he knows that it is useless to pretend that he did not spend the night with her because his footprints tell a different story.




Activity (p. 214)
1. Use the course website to access the online version of the Oxford English
Dictionary (OED). (If you cannot use the internet at the moment, you could come back to this exercise later.) The dictionary gives two related explanations of the word ‘charisma’. Can you work out the main differences between them? What is the difference between the charisma ascribed to Nelson and Hitler, and the charisma of sense (a)?
2. When I put the word ‘charisma’ into an internet ****** engine, I was offered a number of sites that promised to help me increase my own charisma (you might like to try a similar ******)! Which of the two kinds of charisma referred to in the dictionary are they promising? To help you with these questions here is the definition offered in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
charisma /k e’rizm e/n.1 compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion. 2 (pl. charismata / k e’rizm et e/) a divinely conferred power or talent. ORIGIN C17: via eccles. L. from Gk kharisma, from kharis ‘favour, grace’.
Discussion
1. The abstract noun ‘charisma’ is used in two different but related ways. Depending on your background you may find one, both, or neither of these familiar. The important thing is that you can see the distinction between them. The first sense of the word that the OED refers to, (a), is its theological or religious meaning. Did you notice that this is sense 2 in The Concise Oxford Dictionary version? Here it applies to someone who has received a particular blessing from God or gods. Charisma is ‘a gift of grace’. All the examples for this meaning given in the OED relate to Christian figures or ideas, but the concept is equally useful for other religious traditions. It refers to religious authority – the authority that comes from religious blessing and status within a tradition. The Dalai Lamas have significant charismatic status because they are all said to be linked in the lineage of Dalai Lamas and have a special relationship with Chenresig. In sense (b), however, charisma comes from the ability to lead because of personal characteristics. As well as being charismatic in sense (a), the fourteenth Dalai Lama is also viewed as charismatic in sense (b). For westerners, who know little of his traditional status, it is often the personal aspect of his charisma that is important and attractive. For Tibetans, however, his personal qualities are less important than his status as the Dalai Lama. This is why the sixth Dalai Lama can still be revered as a Dalai Lama even though he caused problems by his personal rebellion.
2. The websites are offering us opportunities to increase our personal charisma: to make us more charming, enthusiastic or inspirational. Individuals use these attractive qualities in all kinds of settings, including religious ones.


VIII. The Dalai Lama's reputation in China:
Buddhism was introduced in China around the first century BCE and has undergone periods of decline and revival since then. The forms of Buddhism that became popular in China were mostly not the same as the type of Buddhism practised in Tibet, but the Manchu emperors were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism, and during the Ching dynasty (1644–1911) the emperors routinely confirmed each newly discovered Dalai Lama. In their turn, it is a source of national pride for Tibetans that the Dalai Lamas instructed the Chinese emperors in Buddhist doctrine and practice.

An Outline of the Tibetan History in the 20th century:
A. In 1904 the British invaded Tibetan territory from India. The dispute between Tibet and Britain was resolved by diplomatic means, but the British action prompted the Chinese to intervene and they attempted to bring all the regions occupied by Tibetans under their direct control. Tibet is divided into two sections:
1. The first is what is now called the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
2. The second is usually called ethnographic Tibet. Ethnographic Tibet, which includes Amdo, the fourteenth Dalai Lama’s birthplace, is the name given to the areas in which, historically, the majority of inhabitants have been Tibetan.

Only the TAR areas came under the direct jurisdiction of the Dalai Lama’s government.
B. Following the coming to power of the Chinese communists in 1949, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army entered central Tibet and the capital Lhasa itself in 1951.
C. By the mid 1950s ethnographic Tibet had been pushed to reform, resulting in individual farmers and the monasteries losing their lands to new collectives in much the same way that individual citizens lost their land in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
D. By 1959 the uprising of the Tibetans in the outer regions had reached Lhasa, eventually resulting in the secret and perilous exodus of the Dalai Lama and his entourage to India; they had to use dangerous Himalayan passes without alerting the Chinese to their escape plans. The Dalai Lama was given sanctuary within northern India, although his arrival there was something of an embarrassment to the Indian government which was reluctant to jeopardise its own relationship with the Chinese regime. The Dalai Lama and his government in exile are now settled at Dharamsala in northern India, where they do their best to represent Tibetan interests.
E. Following these events, in addition to the loss of life in the Tibetan army, a large proportion of the Tibetan monastic communities of monks and nuns was tortured and killed along with thousands of lay people. Many historic monasteries were destroyed and stripped of their treasures.
F. After the Dalai Lama had left Tibet, and with the onset of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966, the suppression of religion became the main focus of Chinese Red Guard activity. Religious practice was forbidden and much of what remained of the monasteries was destroyed.
G. Under new leadership in 1978, however, Beijing eased this policy and reinstated freedom of religious belief within certain guidelines. policy and reinstated freedom of religious belief within certain guidelines.

Activity (p. 219)
Now read the Chinese statement on religious freedom made in 1951 and reproduced in Reading 7.4. Why do you think this form of religious freedom is a potential problem for the Tibetans?
Discussion
The model of religion that this policy offers is one that is thoroughly subordinate to China’s New Democracy. It reduces religion to an optional add-on to life within a political system that does not accept the Tibetan view of the world. This poses a fundamental problem as soon as we start to think about the authority and reputation of the Dalai Lama. As we have seen, the traditional Tibetan view understands the Dalai Lama as Chenresig, and the idea that his authority should be subordinated to a human socio-political system runs counter to Tibetan religion and culture. The Dalai Lama has long been in favour of a democratic system, but it is in the interests of the Chinese regime to present him in a way that appears to justify its own role in Tibet. China is a secular state with its own ultimate values, and it rejects the meaning structures and sense of ultimate good that religions promote.

Activity (p. 219)
Reading 7.5 tells us what the Chinese regime has to say about the Dalai Lama himself. Summarise the Chinese perspective based on this source. What do the Chinese think Tibetans have been saved from? Who according to the Chinese must decide the future of the Tibetan people? And how do they understand the role of the Dalai Lama in this process?
Discussion
The Chinese refer to the Dalai Lama’s rule as feudal serfdom under theocracy. The term ‘feudal serfdom’ is used here to present traditional Tibetan society as anachronistic and based on inequality: the privilege of the few based on the hard work of the majority. Theocracy is government by God or gods or by those deemed to be God’s representatives. The identity of Tibet as a theocracy reflects the fact that politics was intimately intertwined with
religion.
The Chinese claim that the future of Tibet must be decided by all the Chinese people. This would, of course, include the Tibetans themselves, but also the majority Han Chinese and members of the other minority groups (of which there are about fifty). This is not a Tibetan view. The Tibetans do not see themselves as part of the Chinese people.
For the Chinese government, the Dalai Lama is hampering the progress of China with unrealistic claims to Tibetan autonomy.

H. During all this activity the Dalai Lama has remained in exile in India. There has been sympathy for the Tibetan cause but insufficient international, political will to provide practical support, largely because China has enormous military and economic power. The Dalai Lama might have done more However, he did not do so and, instead, apparently speaks according to his principles rather than for political advantage. In spite of his absence, the Dalai Lama retains the devotion of his people and his reputation remains intact.

I. The problems in the way of Tibetan-Chinese negotiations:
1. The Tibetans refuse to negotiate with China about the Tibet Autonomous Region unless the negotiations also include the ethnographic areas. These outer areas of Tibet have long been settled by the Chinese majority Han people, but also by people from other minority ethnic groups including other religious groupings such as Muslims.
2. The Dalai Lama is clear that there could not – and should not – be a return to the authority structures that existed in pre-1950s Tibet, but while the Tibetans continue to include the outer areas in their claim for independence there may be little scope for negotiation over the Tibet Autonomous Region itself.
J. A different but potentially more significant problem is the future of the institution of the Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lama is the most senior lama in the Tibetan tradition. Second to him in importance is another lama with a venerable lineage, the Panchen Lama. When a Dalai Lama dies the Panchen Lama is responsible for leading the ****** to find his successor. When a Panchen Lama dies it is traditionally the Dalai Lama who leads the ****** for the new Panchen Lama. The tenth Panchen Lama died in 1989, before which date he had been living in China. The Dalai Lama instigated a ****** for the new Panchen Lama and a child was identified in Tibet. However, the Chinese government ignored this process and set about choosing its own candidate. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the boy identified by the Dalai Lama, was not included for consideration at the Chinese ceremony and his whereabouts are unknown to the Tibetan government in exile. Their choice is kept from them and under the control of the Chinese regime. This has important consequences for the office of the Dalai Lama. The Panchen Lama chosen by the Chinese will not be recognised by the Tibetan government in exile. They will not regard him as the legitimate incarnation and he will therefore be unable to lead the ****** for a new Dalai Lama when the time comes. The fourteenth Dalai Lama has already warned that he may not be reborn as the Dalai Lama, and indeed it is currently difficult to see how there could be a fifteenth Dalai Lama in any way that is meaningful for the Tibetan people.
K. The ethnic, cultural and national identity of the Tibetans is tied inextricably to their religious identity and has as its focus the person of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has become the symbol of Tibetan hopes for the future even while they acknowledge that they must operate under the Chinese regime. Meanwhile, the Chinese have forged ahead with modernisation, including road and rail building programmes, and they remain confident that the changes they have implemented in Tibet have brought the Tibetan people nothing but benefit. The Chinese regime presents itself as beneficent by promoting a view of the Dalai Lama that contrasts sharply with his traditional, religious reputation in Tibet and his somewhat romanticised reputation in the West.





L. Two contrasting views to Tibet:
1. The Chinese portray contemporary Tibet as an area where there is freedom of religion.
2. The Dalai Lama’s government in exile portrays Tibet as an area where religion has been suppressed. Under these circumstances, the reputation of the Dalai Lama himself varies widely.
The American scholar of Tibetan Buddhism, Donald Lopez, sees the romantic notion of Tibet as an issue both for scholarship and for the Tibetan people themselves. He expresses that in this way:

Tibet’s complexities and competing histories have been flattened into a stereotype. Stereotypes operate through adjectives, which establish chosen characteristics as if they were eternal truths. Tibet is ‘isolated,’ Tibetans are ‘content,’ monks are ‘spiritual.’ With sufficient repetition, these adjectives become innate qualities, immune from history. [...] This language about Tibet not only creates knowledge about Tibet, in many ways it creates Tibet, a Tibet that Tibetans in exile have come to appropriate and deploy in an effort to gain both standing in exile and independence for their country.
(Lopez, 1998, p. 10)

Activity (p. 222)
What do you think Lopez means when he says that ‘Tibet’s complexities and competing histories have been flattened into a stereotype’? What example of this have you encountered in this chapter?
Discussion
As Lopez points out, when we employ stereotypes we ‘flatten’ complexities by forcing people or things into fixed mental categories. Life is nearly always more complicated than a stereotype allows. Stereotypes can be misleading because they oversimplify and they are often accompanied by unfair prejudice. As soon as we look beyond an idealised Tibet we find that Tibet and the Tibetans have a complex history which can be told in contrasting ways. Simply by taking the competing recent histories of contemporary Tibet as told by the Chinese and the Tibetan government in exile we find that this is so.

Conclusion:
The Dalai Lama has a complex role and competing reputations. He is a religious leader, a politician, a negotiator, and the symbol of hope for his people. He is the holder of a traditional, charismatic office with a long history, but he has powerful enemies. After his death his personal reputation will be reassessed and, because of the political situation that continues in Tibet, his office may or may not be continued.



Glossary

 Bodhisattva: a Buddha to be.
 Buddha: an enlightened one. Someone who has understood the truth of the way things really are and is no longer tainted by greed, hatred and delusion.
 dukkha: an inherent characteristic of life in samsara translated as suffering, unsatisfactoriness, incapable of satisfying.
 feudalism: a social system in which people are permitted to occupy and cultivate land in return for allegiance to the state.
 guru: a religious teacher who deserves the respect and devotion of his followers.
 lama: the Tibetan equivalent of the Indian word guru. A teacher who is worthy of respect and devotion.
 monotheism: a religious system based on the belief that there is one, and only one, divine being.
 samsara: the ever-changing cycle of illness, ageing, death and rebirth in which all non-enlightened beings exist. It is characterised by dukkha, ignorance, greed and anger.
 theocracy: government by the representatives of the prevailing religious system.
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