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Both entertainment and education have been integrals parts of the human experience since the beginnings of time Many scholars insist that the two institutions often serve jointly with entertainers and entertainment serving as a main source of education There is little argument then that in addition to generally appealing to the masses entertainers have regularly fulfilled the role of a teacher to typically unsuspecting audiences Entertainers have served as educators throughout history from the origins of oral narratives through the Middle Ages The earliest forms of unwritten communication were essentially used to spread knowledge from one source to another Religious disciplines were the first information passed from person to person through entertainment In the third century BC Buddhist monks tried to win converts outside India through the use of theater and song Burdick 97 They taught the precepts of Siddhartha and Buddha in such theatrical epics as Ramayana and Mahabharata setting exacting rules for theater performance in the process Burdick 99 Similarly Irish monks established singing schools which taught uniform use of music throughout the church Young 31 Through chants which were all the same they spread identical teachings Christian psalms and hymns in Apostolic times were sung to spread the knowledge and faith of Christianity In fact Christianity was promoted from the start by music Churches were for long the only centers of learning with monks teaching all lessons through music Young 39 Through the use of sacred music monks and clergy successfully spread the teachings of their religions in a practical manner Entertainers used the theater as a place to tell the stories of the day both fictional and topical The African oral tradition was rich in folk tales myths riddles and proverbs serving a religious social and economic function Lindfors 1 Likewise Asian actors covered their faces with masks in order to act out a scandal of the day without the audience knowing who was passing along the gossip Archer 76 European
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