The Yale journal of music & religion (YJMR) is an open-access online publication issued twice yearly by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, an interdisciplinary graduate center that educates leaders who foster, explore, and study engagement with the sacred through music, worship, and the arts in Christian communities, diverse religious traditions, and public life.
YJMR is hosted by EliScholar, the Yale University Library institutional repository. YJMR accepts submissions of original scholarly research on sacred music spanning such disciplines as music theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, ritual studies, religious studies, theology, and liturgical studies.
Below, an extract from the Cisneros choirbooks, the subject of the first article published in the journal, with views of the Catedral de Toledo, the repertoire’s home base.
In 2011 Peter Lang launched the series Liturgical studies, edited by Silvia A. Sweeney.
The inaugural volume, Embodying the feminine in the dances of the world’s religions by Angela M. Yarber, explores bharata nāṭyam, a classical Indian genre stemming from the devadāsī tradition; kabuki onnagata, Japanese male enactors of female-likeness; the Mevlevi Order of America, which allows women to train as whirling dervishes; and Gurit Kadman, who created folk dances for Jewish women and men.
With its emphasis on altered consciousness, shamanism—communication with the spirit world—offers archetypal visionary insight concerning the nature of the psyche; it has much in common with the key Jungian notion of individuation or fully developed and integrated consciousness.
Jazz has much in common with shamanic experience. The pan-tonal and pan-rhythmic music of the Norwegian saxophonist and composer Jan Garbarek exemplifies the healing presence of the shamanic, or individuated, spirit in 20th-century music.
This according to “The body electric: The shamanic spirit in twentieth century music” by Michael Tucker, an essay included in Music and mysticism, two consecutive issues of Contemporary music review (XIV/1–2 and 3–4) dedicated to the memory of Philip Rawson.
Above, a shaman from the Altaj Mountains of Central Asia. Below, Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s I talk with the spirits.
In the preface to his collection Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica (1619) Michael Praetorius engaged in a play on words, juxtaposing the similar-sounding Latin terms concio and cantio. But the passage is not a mere display of cleverness—it is a theological assertion that musicologists have described as a manifesto on liturgical music.
Praetorius wrote (translated here): “for the completeness of worship it is not only appropriate to have a concio, a good sermon, but also in addition the necessary cantio, good music and song.” By stating that worship would be incomplete without “good music and song”—which he further deemed “necessary”—he was expressing the underlying premise of his entire career as a Lutheran church composer and cantor.
This according to “Concio et cantio: Proclamation and praise in song and music” by Daniel Zager; the article is published online here. Below, the Monteverdichor Würzburg and the Monteverdi Ensemble, conducted by Matthias Beckert, perform Praetorius’s Puer natus in Bethlehem from the same collection.