Music in pagan and witchcraft ritual and culture
The history of witchcraft has been studied and written about at length over the
centuries and particularly in the last few years. It has a place within the pagan
movement that is generally accepted as being of prime importance, notably within
modem paganism. However, the subject has not been explored in depth from a
musical perspective despite music being used in rituals throughout the pagan
movement and especially in witchcraft.
This study makes use of historical sources and contemporary journals and books to
investigate the extent to which music was used in witchcraft ceremonies in the past
and the types of music allegedly used. Further to this practising covens and
hedgewitches have been contacted by post asking them for details of music used in
their rituals and the changes they believe that take place because of the music used.
When replies were forthcoming a questionnaire was sent asking for further details and
in some cases the people concerned were visited. A cassette tape of music
representing pagan themes was sent to them for their opinions as to the suitability of
the music recorded.
The results of this study are analysed to ascertain whether specific music is commonly
used in Wiccan culture and rituals or whether there are differences purely according to
the musical tastes of the individuals and reasons for the choice of music are sought.
A study was also made of music from the classical repertoire that claims to represent
witchcraft in fictional or mythological situations. This music is analysed to seek
similar characteristics with the music used in actual Wiccan culture and a tape of
music has been included in an appendix that provides representative examples of the
music encountered with analysis.
The results bring together information on two subjects that have not previously been