Throughout Portugal, Roman Catholic parishes stage elaborate processions to celebrate patron saints on their feast days. The statue of the patron saint is carried through the streets of the community on a prescribed route accompanied by music, usually performed by a wind band, in an act of devotion that sacralizes the community. This essay draws on religious historian Robert Orsi’s “theology of the streets” to propose a musical theology of the streets as a framework for understanding how music not only physically mobilizes people, but also engages people spiritually into a feeling of communitas within in the context of the procession.

Author Biography

Katherine Brucher is an Associate Professor of Music at the DePaul University School of Music. She has published on folk and ethnic music in Chicago, Portuguese music, and global brass band traditions, including, Brass Bands of the World: Militarism, Colonial Legacies, and Local Music, edited with Suzel Ana Reily. Her current research interests include Chicago’s neighborhood music scenes, music of Portugal and the Portuguese diaspora, and music and locality.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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