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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Singing God's Words: The Performance Of Biblical Chant In Contemporary Judaism, Mili Leitner Cohen Aug 2019

Singing God's Words: The Performance Of Biblical Chant In Contemporary Judaism, Mili Leitner Cohen

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

A book review is presented for Jeffrey Summit, Singing God's Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).


Listening To Early Modern Catholicism: Perspectives From Musicology, Aaron James Aug 2019

Listening To Early Modern Catholicism: Perspectives From Musicology, Aaron James

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

A book review is presented for Daniele V. Filippi and Michael Noone, eds. Listening to Early Modern Catholicism: Perspectives from Musicology (Leiden: Brill, 2017).


The Function Of Hymns In The Liturgical Life Of Malcolm Quin's Positivist Church, 1878–1905, Paul Watt Aug 2019

The Function Of Hymns In The Liturgical Life Of Malcolm Quin's Positivist Church, 1878–1905, Paul Watt

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The publication of Auguste Comte’s positive philosophy in the 1830s and 1840s took the world by storm and has come to be regarded as one of the principal turning points in nineteenth-century intellectual culture. A particularly large number of disciples and imitators of Comte’s philosophy sprang up all over Europe, especially in the United Kingdom. They established churches and networks in Comte’s memory and wrote tracts, pamphlets and books on history, philosophy, aesthetics, literature, theology and the bourgeoning field of sociology based on Comte’s works. One such disciple was the musician Malcolm Quin. A singer, organist ...


Thirteen Ways To “Hail, Mary”: A Case Study Of The 2013 Forum For The Inculturation Of Liturgical Music In Nigeria, Quintina Carter-Enyi, Aaron Carter-Enyi Aug 2019

Thirteen Ways To “Hail, Mary”: A Case Study Of The 2013 Forum For The Inculturation Of Liturgical Music In Nigeria, Quintina Carter-Enyi, Aaron Carter-Enyi

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Every two years since 1997, the Forum for the Inculturation of Liturgical Music (FILM) has given a platform for many of Nigeria’s cultures to contribute to the future direction of the Roman Catholic liturgy in Nigeria. This case study focuses on the 2013 Biennial Choral Competition, specifically 13 settings of the Ave Maria text in seven of Nigeria’s hundreds of languages. Prior to that year, FILM had already introduced music with lyrics in minority languages including Bini, “Osolobruvwe Do”, and Efik, “Yak Ikom Abasi”, into the Nigerian canon of choral music, including both concert and church performance. In ...


Singing As English Protestants: The Whole Booke Of Psalmes’ Theology Of Music, Samantha Arten Aug 2019

Singing As English Protestants: The Whole Booke Of Psalmes’ Theology Of Music, Samantha Arten

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The Whole Booke of Psalmes, first published in 1562, became the most visible symbol of English Protestant music-making through its immense popularity and its perceived Protestant authority and monarchical authorization, and the psalter was directly responsible for the formation of the Church of England’s musical culture. Through close reading of the hymnal’s words about music—the versified texts of the psalms themselves, particularly the paraphrases of those psalms that speak directly about music, singing, worship, and instruments, and also other material including the versified hymns and prefatory matter—I argue that the WBP promoted a particular theology of ...


Syriac Chant And The Limits Of Modality, Sarah Bakker Kellogg Oct 2018

Syriac Chant And The Limits Of Modality, Sarah Bakker Kellogg

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

A book review is presented for Sense and Sadness: Syriac Chant in Aleppo, by Tala Jarjour. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 250 pp. ISBN: 978-0-190-63525-1.


Physicality And Devotion In Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’S Rosary Sonatas, Roseen Giles Oct 2018

Physicality And Devotion In Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’S Rosary Sonatas, Roseen Giles

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The Rosary Sonatas of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704) for solo violin were likely composed in the late 1670s, and were dedicated to the composer’s patron, the Archbishop of Salzburg Maximilian Gandolph von Kuenburg. The sonatas in this remarkable set of fifteen are preceded by copperplate engravings, each depicting one of the mysteries of the rosary. The pieces display Biber’s extensive use of scordatura, an unusual “discordant” tuning, notated with a semi-tablature in which the visual contours of the notation on the page are at odds with the audible contours of the phrases. Biber’s sonatas are ...


James Macmillan's Mass Of Blessed John Henry Newman And The Culture Of Liturgical Music-Making In The Scottish Catholic Church, Michael Ferguson Oct 2018

James Macmillan's Mass Of Blessed John Henry Newman And The Culture Of Liturgical Music-Making In The Scottish Catholic Church, Michael Ferguson

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

James MacMillan composed his Mass of Blessed John Henry Newman as a congregational setting for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom in 2010. The work was heralded as the first setting of the new English Missal translation, and MacMillan expressed hope that it would make a longer-term contribution to music-making in the Roman Catholic Anglosphere. However, in Scotland at least, Mass of Blessed John Henry Newman has not made a widespread impact. The purpose of this article is to understand why MacMillan was unable to add his setting to the body of congregational music in Scotland ...


The Material Of The Servant: Theology And Hermeneutics In Handel’S Samson, Sara E. Eckerson Oct 2018

The Material Of The Servant: Theology And Hermeneutics In Handel’S Samson, Sara E. Eckerson

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

George Frideric Handel’s Samson oratorio (HWV 57, 1743) has posed critical difficulty for scholars because of its libretto. The librettist, Newburgh Hamilton, is often accused of making a poor adaption of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes (1671). One of the main points of criticism centers on how Hamilton removed much of Samson’s deliberation from the source text. In this article, however, it will be argued that the way ideas and commentary pass through different voices (namely, from Samson and Micah to the Chorus of Israelites) contributes to the unique interpretation the oratorio puts forward of the Samson narrative ...


Mediating Gospel Singing: Audiovisual Recording And The Transformation Of Voice Among The Christian Lisu In Post-2000 Nujiang, China, Ying Diao Apr 2018

Mediating Gospel Singing: Audiovisual Recording And The Transformation Of Voice Among The Christian Lisu In Post-2000 Nujiang, China, Ying Diao

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The contemporary gospel singing of the Nujiang Lisu in China’s southwestern Yunnan province seems to have been predominated by new media technologies and recorded popular mutgguat ssat music. The prevalence of Christian audiovisual recordings reflects more than a shift in the materiality of Lisu religious practices. Moreover, it speaks to the transformative ways that the Christian Lisu have engaged with technologies for their gospel singing as a practice of religious mediation. New musical styles and expressive forms have been disseminated through recordings and further institutionalized in the worship service and other religious settings. Drawing on a material approach from ...


Sounding The Congregational Voice, Marissa Glynias Moore Apr 2018

Sounding The Congregational Voice, Marissa Glynias Moore

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Congregational singing is a participatory vocal practice undertaken by Christians across a wide range of denominations, yet the specific qualities and active capacities of the congregational voice have yet to be investigated. Drawing on recent musicological and philosophical perspectives on voice, I theorize the congregational voice as an active practice, illuminating its abilities to do something in worship through sound.

Taking Brian Kane’s model of the voice as a circulation of content (logos), sound (echos), and source (topos), I explore how these categories are redefined through an active-based theorization of congregational singing. I argue that topos must be expanded ...


Paralinguistic Ramification Of Language Performance In Islamic Ritual, Michael Frishkopf Apr 2018

Paralinguistic Ramification Of Language Performance In Islamic Ritual, Michael Frishkopf

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Across time and space, Islamic ritual practices maintain certain fixed features while adapting to local environments, thereby developing a branching or ramified structure—though political, economic, ideological, or technological factors may cause certain local forms to globalize as well. Such ramification offers a means of interpreting the past as well as a window into religious meaning and the ritual process itself. How does such adaptation take place, what drives it, what is its social-spiritual meaning and impact, what can such a ramified variety across history and place tell us, and where does the essence of such ritual lie? In this ...


Calundu's Winds Of Divination: Music And Black Religiosity In Eighteenth And Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil, Jonathon Grasse Sep 2017

Calundu's Winds Of Divination: Music And Black Religiosity In Eighteenth And Nineteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil, Jonathon Grasse

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Calundu was an African-derived religious practice known in colonial Brazil, most widely recognized in Minas Gerais during and following that region’s early eighteenth-century gold rush. Drumming, chant, and dance channeled healing and divinational powers brought about primarily through trance possession. Severely disrupted by Church intervention, descriptions of calundu found in Portuguese Inquisition testimony join the published observations by European travelers as windows into the social history of Minas Gerais, an important yet often overlooked cultural territory of Brazil. This region of gold, diamonds, and coffee formed one of the most intense, highly populated slave operations known in the Western ...


Nationalist Transformations: Music, Ritual, And The Work Of Memory In Cambodia And Thailand, Jeffrey M. Dyer Sep 2017

Nationalist Transformations: Music, Ritual, And The Work Of Memory In Cambodia And Thailand, Jeffrey M. Dyer

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Cambodia and its diaspora since 2004, this article explores tensions that arise when individuals and institutions impose nation-state ideologies on music and ritual that predate the nation-state concept and transcend official state boundaries. In numerous contexts, musicians and dancers in Cambodia and Thailand perform offerings and blessings that honor their teachers and initiate artistic lineages. Due to broad influence from India and centuries of conflict and borrowing, these rituals—though not necessarily their musical content—have proliferated in these two countries. I describe these nearly identical rituals—called thvāy grū in Khmer and wai khruu ...


The Acoustics Of Justice: Music And Myth In Afro-Brazilian Congado, Genevieve E. Dempsey Sep 2017

The Acoustics Of Justice: Music And Myth In Afro-Brazilian Congado, Genevieve E. Dempsey

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

For the Afro-Brazilian musicians of popular Catholicism, or Congadeiros, who live precariously on the urban and rural margins of Brazil, ritual undergirds their struggles for subsistence, spiritual fulfillment, and racial equality. When Congadeiros create ritual, they enter into a tradition begun in the seventeenth century in Brazil by their enslaved African and Afro-descendant ancestors who intoned songs of redemption. In keeping with their ancestors’ evocations of dignity during slavery, worshipers in the present day embed multiple kinds of vested interests within ritual festivity to achieve racial equality. This article explores Congado, the ceremonies of these disenfranchised musicians, to gain a ...


Relational Power, Music, And Identity: The Emotional Efficacy Of Congregational Song, Nathan Myrick Apr 2017

Relational Power, Music, And Identity: The Emotional Efficacy Of Congregational Song, Nathan Myrick

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Relational Power, Music, and Identity: The Emotional Efficacy of Congregational Song

The power of congregational song to unify (or divide) people along various lines is well documented. Yet, how this process of uniting or dividing is accomplished has proven necessarily difficult to document. This paper examines the complex and polyvalent factors that contribute to the meaningfulness of congregational music making, seeking to offer a synthetic, conceptual framework with which to engage this often murky milieu.

Employing interdisciplinary research techniques drawn from sociology, ritual studies, and ethnomusicology, I construct a conceptual framework with which to understand the profoundly formative power of ...


Liturgical Singing In The Lutheran Mass In Early Modern Sweden And Its Implications For Clerical Ritual Performance And Lay Literacy, Mattias O. Lundberg Mar 2017

Liturgical Singing In The Lutheran Mass In Early Modern Sweden And Its Implications For Clerical Ritual Performance And Lay Literacy, Mattias O. Lundberg

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

This article postulates and analyses three distinct modes of performativity in Early Modern ecclesiastical music in Sweden, each linked to a specific repertoire of melodies, and each de facto (and sometimes also de jure) monopolized by the Church of Sweden. It is proposed that recognition and analysis of these three modes may provide further understanding of the interaction between singing, reading and speaking during the period under discussion. This sheds new light on what has in literacy research been termed “religious reading”, giving rise in some instances to a corresponding type of “religious singing” in a narrower sense: one where ...


Glimpses Into The Music And Worship Life Of A Victorian Colonial Cathedral: The Anglican Cathedral Of St Michael And St George In 1900 (Grahamstown, South Africa), Andrew-John Bethke Mar 2017

Glimpses Into The Music And Worship Life Of A Victorian Colonial Cathedral: The Anglican Cathedral Of St Michael And St George In 1900 (Grahamstown, South Africa), Andrew-John Bethke

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

This article documents one year (1900) in the musical life of a colonial Anglican cathedral in Grahamstown (Cape Colony, South Africa), during the British colonial period. The source material for the music-lists is drawn mainly from the Saturday editions of two local newspapers: Grocott’s Penny Mail and the Grahamstown Journal. The author analyses the musical trends of the cathedral by exploring the content of the cathedral’s musical repertoire and relating it to the choir’s size and competency; commenting on the preference for certain composers and what this might imply about local musical taste; examining the precentor’s ...


Crossing Paths: Musical And Ritual Interactivity Between The Ḥamadsha And Gnawa In Sidi Ali, Morocco, Christopher J. Witulski Sep 2016

Crossing Paths: Musical And Ritual Interactivity Between The Ḥamadsha And Gnawa In Sidi Ali, Morocco, Christopher J. Witulski

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The processions occurring in Moroccan pilgrimages--such as those in Sidi Ali, a small town situated in the mountains outside of Meknes and Fez--are important sites that instigate an aesthetic negotiation within nearby possession ceremonies. The many musical groups that punctuate the cacophonous atmosphere during the annual pilgrimage are affiliated with a many of the country’s diverse mystical brotherhoods, including the gnawa, ḥamadsha, and ʿīsāwa. Through a detailed ethnographic description of processions and rituals from two of these groups, this article outlines ways in which musical tastes flow between the different events, informing the aesthetics of both outdoor (public) expressions ...


War Of The Worlds: Music And Cosmological Battles In The Balinese Cremation Procession, Michael B. Bakan Sep 2016

War Of The Worlds: Music And Cosmological Battles In The Balinese Cremation Procession, Michael B. Bakan

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Abstract

This article explores processional action as a form of cosmological intervention in Hindu-Balinese cremation processions, focusing on the multiple and intersecting functions of a particular type of Balinese instrumental music ensemble: the gamelan beleganjur. It explores the alternately “enlivening and protective aspects” (DeVale 1990, 62) that underlie the use of beleganjur music in the ngaben, or cremation ritual, showing how beleganjur’s sonic power and rhythmic drive serve to combat malevolent spirit beings, strengthen and inspire processional participants in their efforts to meet challenging ritual obligations, and grant courage to the souls of deceased individuals embarking on their perilous ...


Relics, Processions And The Sounding Of Affections: Barbara Strozzi, The Archduchess Of Innsbruck, And Saint Anthony Of Padua, Sara M. Pecknold Sep 2016

Relics, Processions And The Sounding Of Affections: Barbara Strozzi, The Archduchess Of Innsbruck, And Saint Anthony Of Padua, Sara M. Pecknold

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

In 1655, Barbara Strozzi issued her fifth and only sacred opus, the Sacri musicali affetti, a print comprising fourteen passionately religious motets for solo voice and continuo. This article demonstrates how Strozzi's final motet to Saint Anthony reflects a surge in trans-Alpine Antonine devotion--a devotional trend in which both Strozzi's dedicatee, Anna de' Medici, and possibly the composer herself, participated. This essay examines two particular events: a procession of Saint Anthony’s relics from Venice to Padua in 1652, and the founding of a Antonine confraternity at the court of Innsbruck in the same year. When these phenomena ...


The Rogationtide Processions Of Wilton Abbey, Alison N. Altstatt Sep 2016

The Rogationtide Processions Of Wilton Abbey, Alison N. Altstatt

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The Benedictine convent of Wilton Abbey was among the wealthiest women’s religious communities in medieval England and home to an elite school for noble women. Until recently, a late thirteenth-century manuscript processional from Wilton was known only from a hand copy made circa 1860 at the Abbey of St. Pierre de Solesmes. The original manuscript was presumed lost. The recent identification of thirty-seven leaves of the original manuscript processional offers primary sources for the study of Wilton’s liturgy, and offers a means by which to assess the reliability of the nineteenth-century copy. The purpose of this study is ...


Tarian Perdamaian: Enacting Alternative Hindu/Christian Identity Discourses Through "Secular" Balinese Performing Arts, Dustin D. Wiebe Mar 2016

Tarian Perdamaian: Enacting Alternative Hindu/Christian Identity Discourses Through "Secular" Balinese Performing Arts, Dustin D. Wiebe

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

This article examines the nature of interreligious relations between Protestants of the Bali Church and Hindus as enacted through dramatic forms of Balinese music and dance. Particular attention is paid to the influence of mass tourism as a contributing factor in this process. Since the early twentieth century these arts have formed a central component of a pan-Balinese identity discourse known as" kebalian." The first Balinese converted to Christianity during the 1930s and were subsequently excommunicated from their ancestral villages for refusing to participate in local customary practices (including the ritualistic use of gamelan music). For this reason, Balinese Christians ...


Whitefield's Music: Moorfields Tabernacle, The Divine Musical Miscellany (1754), And The Fashioning Of Early Evangelical Sacred Song, Stephen A. Marini Mar 2016

Whitefield's Music: Moorfields Tabernacle, The Divine Musical Miscellany (1754), And The Fashioning Of Early Evangelical Sacred Song, Stephen A. Marini

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Evangelical hymnody was the most significant form of popular sacred song in eighteenth-century Anglo-America. John and Charles Wesley built their Methodist movement on it, but little is known about the music of their great collaborator and eventual rival, George Whitefield (1714-1770). The essential sources of Whitefield's music are the development of ritual song at his Moorfields Tabernacle in London, his Collection of Hymns for Social Worship (1753) prepared for that congregation, and a little-known tunebook called The Divine Musical Miscellany (1754) that contains the first and definitive repertory of music known to be sung at Moorfields. This essay recovers ...


Aesthetic Meaning In The Congregational Masses Of James Macmillan, Stephen Kingsbury Mar 2016

Aesthetic Meaning In The Congregational Masses Of James Macmillan, Stephen Kingsbury

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Examines the interconnetions between MacMillan’s congregational masses and other works by the composer. The compositional and philosophical commonalities between paired compositions deepens the philosophical and aesthetic meaning of both works. An understanding of these parallels and the manner in which they are worked out in practice provides an important insight into the composer’s intentions, making the performance of the masses within the context of the worship service more relevant to the spiritual experience of the congregant and provides insight into the interconnectivity of MacMillan’s compositional output.


Psalms, Islam, And Music: Dialogues And Divergence About David In Christian-Muslim Encounters Of The Seventeenth Century, David R. M. Irving Mar 2016

Psalms, Islam, And Music: Dialogues And Divergence About David In Christian-Muslim Encounters Of The Seventeenth Century, David R. M. Irving

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

David (Daud) is revered in the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam variously as a king, prophet, and musician, providing the inspiration for what can be called the “Davidic tradition,” expressed in text, sound, ideology, and image. The scriptures associated with David are central to this tradition: within Judaism and Christianity they are the Psalms, human praises or entreaties to God; within Islam, the Zabūr is revered as a divine prophecy revealed to the prophet Daud, according to the Qurʾān. David’s musicianship and the identity of his instruments are understood differently in Jewish-Christian and Islamic traditions, and are ...


“And Can It Be”: Analysing The Words, Music, And Contexts Of An Iconic Methodist Hymn, Martin V. Clarke Mar 2016

“And Can It Be”: Analysing The Words, Music, And Contexts Of An Iconic Methodist Hymn, Martin V. Clarke

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

This paper interrogates the iconic status of Charles Wesley's hymn "And can it be" within British Methodism. It examines words, music and context, arguing that it is the combination of these that is crucial to understanding the hymn's status, and that such an approach may be more widely useful in hymnology. Through examination of the literary characteristics of the text, the musical settings associated with it throughout its history, and the ways in which it has been used within British Methodism, it reflects upon the hymn's peculiar place in the spiritual life of the denomination, and how ...


Music In The South African Anglican Diocese Of Cape Town From 1900 To The Present: Toward A History Of Anglican Music In The Anglican Church Of Southern Africa, Andrew-John Bethke Mar 2016

Music In The South African Anglican Diocese Of Cape Town From 1900 To The Present: Toward A History Of Anglican Music In The Anglican Church Of Southern Africa, Andrew-John Bethke

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

This article provides a succinct history of Anglican cathedral and parish music in the Western Cape Province and the city of Cape Town. Within these parameters the author explores the musical trends in different strands of Anglicanism (Anglo-Catholic, Broad Church and Evangelical), documents the development of choirs and music groups and gauges the musical consciousness of South African Anglicans. The article begins at the turn of the twentieth century and extends to 2010. The earliest history (from 1750 - 1900) has been documented in a previous article by the same author.


A Musical Homiletic: Drawing On The Sonic Dimensions Of The Word And Spirit, Thomas H. Troeger Sep 2015

A Musical Homiletic: Drawing On The Sonic Dimensions Of The Word And Spirit, Thomas H. Troeger

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

The article begins by addressing two primary areas of concern: 1. Can music communicate meaning, and if so, how? 2. Can theological realities be expressed through music and other artistic forms whose primary medium is not language? The author then lays out a schema featuring four different aspects of developing a musical homiletic, starting with the simplest and moving to the most complex. (1) Preachers can speak in a way that captures the musicality of human conversation: its sonically engaging use of inflection, volume, pace, and timbre. (2) Preachers can interpret the theological and poetic meaning of the texts that ...


Singing The Sermon: Where Musicology Meets Homiletics, Emmett G. Price Iii Sep 2015

Singing The Sermon: Where Musicology Meets Homiletics, Emmett G. Price Iii

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

From the beginning of the Christian Church, singing and preaching have served as major tools of communication. In fact, they remain the most utilized methods of articulating and explicating personal and communal theologies across the diverse and expansive expressions of Christianity.

From the life, ministry, and legacy of Jesus Christ through the teachings of the Apostle Paul, the roles and functions of singing and preaching are well known but not well studied as a unit. From the foundational writings of the early Church Fathers through the various theses of the reformers, the acts of singing and preaching have been studied ...