The introduction outlines some of the main ideas in the book and locates the study in the context of ethnomusicological studies of religion and religious studies of music. Following Kimberly Patton, it asserts that by means of comparison, scholars empower dialogue rather than pass moral judgment or claim mastery. Comparison is a hermeneutic that reveals alternative narratives and generates new ways of understanding data. The origin of the project lies in the author’s efforts to understand the layers of religious experience and expression embedded within Central Javanese culture.
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