The Institute of Musicology

Dissertation projects

Dissertationsprojekt von Sharon Alexander Dreyfus


An examination of the biophysics of the excitatory human, explored through the modality of gospel choir

This Ph.D. project examines the biophysics of the excitatory human through the modality of gospel choir; exploring the roles of resonance, synchronization, and entrainment. In the course of this research, the ecstatic structure of the Judeo-Christian service is analyzed, as well as praise, glory, grace, the nature of trance, the development and maintenance of the “self,” ecstatic synesthesia, healing miracles, and ecstatic motor behavior. Within this context, approximately two dozen unique evocative gospel techniques have been identified; remarkable in their simplicity and designed to raise the congregation’s energy, to build its cohesiveness, and to open the group to an altered-state experience.