Studying Congregational Music

Key Issues, Methods, and Theoretical Perspectives

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Andrew Mall, Monique Marie Ingalls, Jeffers Engelhardt
  • New York: 
    , February
     296 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

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 coeditor 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.


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