1st Edition

Studying Congregational Music Key Issues, Methods, and Theoretical Perspectives

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    Studying the role of music within religious congregations has become an increasingly complex exercise. The significant variations in musical style and content between different congregations require an interdisciplinary methodology that enables an accurate analysis, while also allowing for nuance in interpretation. This book is the first to help scholars think through the complexities of interdisciplinary research on congregational music-making by critically examining the theories and methods used by leading scholars in the field.

    An international and interdisciplinary panel of contributors introduces readers to a variety of research methodologies within the emerging field of congregational music studies. Utilizing insights from fields such as communications studies, ethnomusicology, history, liturgical studies, popular music studies, religious studies, and theology, it examines and models methodologies and theoretical perspectives that are grounded in each of these disciplines. In addition, this volume presents several “key issues” to ground these interpretive frameworks in the context of congregational music studies. These include topics like diaspora, ethics, gender, and migration.

    This book is a new milestone in the study of music amongst congregations, detailing the very latest in best academic practice. As such, it will be of great use to scholars of religious studies, music, and theology, as well as anyone engaging in ethnomusicological studies more generally.

    Introduction: Studying Congregational Music
    Andrew Mall, Jeffers Engelhardt, and Monique M. Ingalls

    Part I: Methodological Perspectives

    1 In Case You Don’t Have a Case: Reflections on Methods for Studying Congregational Song in Liturgical History
    Lester Ruth

    2 Worshipping "With Everything": Musical Analysis and Congregational Worship
    Joshua Kalin Busman

    3 Mediating Religious Experience? Congregational Music and the Digital Music Interface
    Anna E. Nekola

    4 Ethnography in the Study of Congregational Music
    Jeff Todd Titon

    5 Re-Sounding the History of Christian Congregational Music
    Sarah Eyerly

    6 Music Theology as the Mouthpiece of Science: Proving it through Congregational Music Studies
    Bennett Zon

    Part II: Key Issues

    7 Political Economy and Capital in Congregational Music Studies: Commodities, Worshipers, and Worship
    Andrew Mall

    8 Congregation and Chorality: Fluidity and Distinction in the Voicing of Religious Community
    Jeffers Engelhardt

    9 "We Just Don’t Have It": Addressing Whiteness in Congregational Voicing
    Marissa Glynias Moore

    10 Researching Black Congregational Music from a Migratory Point of View: Methods, Challenges, and Strategies
    Melvin L. Butler

    11 Studying Byzantine Ukrainian Congregational Music in Canada: Considering Community and Diaspora
    Marcia Ostashewski

    12 Congregational Singing and Practices of Gender in Christian Worship: Exploring Intersections
    Teresa Berger

    13 Searching for a Metaphor: What is the Role of the Shaliach/Shalichat Tzibur (Leader of Prayer)?
    Jeffrey A. Summit

    14 Ecclesioscapes: Interpreting Gatherings around Christian Music in and outside the Church through the Dutch Case of the "Sing Along Matthäuspassion"
    Mirella Klomp


    Andrew Mall is Assistant Professor of Music at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He teaches courses in ethnomusicology, music industry, and popular music studies. He is the author of God Rock, Inc.: The Business of Niche Music (University of California Press, 2021) and Book Review Co-Editor of the journal Ethnomusicology.

    Jeffers Engelhardt is Professor of Music at Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA. He teaches courses in ethnomusicology focusing on community-based ethnography, music and religion, voice, and analytical approaches to music and sound. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Music and Religion and Digital and Multimedia Editor of the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

    Monique M. Ingalls is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director of Church Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA. She is the author of Singing the Congregation (Oxford, 2018), coeditor of three books on congregational musicmaking, and series editor of Routledge’s Congregational Music Studies Series.