Online Journal Launched

February 12, 2015

Yale Journal of Music & Religion (YJMR) — a new, peer-reviewed, open-access journal of interdisciplinary scholarship that will provide a forum for the study of sacred music in all of its ritual, artistic, and cultural context — debuted on Feb. 1 on Yale’s EliScholar platform. The journal can be viewed at

The ISM’s new semiannual journal will present scholarship on religious music of all traditions across a range of methodologies, with the goal of encouraging the study of the full array of musical, ritual, literary, and other artistic forms that co-constitute the worlds of beliefs and practices.

“In the last 20 years or so, there has been a growing awareness of and research into relationships between music and religion,” explains Robin A. Leaver, general editor of YJMR. “Following the current trend in journal publishing, we are launching an open-access digital production, which means that the content can be enhanced by audio and video clips, as well as links to other Internet sources.”

The first issue features such topics as meditative visualization and musical gesture in Tibetan “Chöd” liturgies; the reception history of J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” in relation to his “St. Mark Passion”; the Mozarabic rite in Spain at the turn of the 16th century; psalms of lament and their implications for communal worship and liturgical theology; and sacred music in the early American colonies New Spain, New France, New Netherland, and New Sweden.

The editorial staff includes associate editors Philip Bohlman, Markus Rathey, and Suzel Reily; and managing editor Joanna Murdoch.

“Our interdisciplinary work is the context for this new publication,” says Martin Jean, director of the ISM. “It bears witness to two related convictions: first, that the study of religion must move beyond history and philology to include the full range of ritual and aural expressions, as well as all aspects of the visual arts and architectural environments; and second, that sacred music is understood not merely by studying the music itself, but by exploring its broader social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts.”

The journal is accepting submissions of research articles and case studies for future issues.