Musical Religiosity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this essay the author explores the thesis that music is by its nature religious, or rather, that it has qualities that correspond well with what religion, in a broad sense, aspires to be. Four musical qualities are explored: timbre, the tonal system of western music, the time relations within the tonal network, and the non-referential nature of music. These qualities are linked to the definition of ‘the religious’ by John Dewey. The main conclusion is that an analogy can be shown between the musical and the religious experience: both composers and musicians challenge the listeners to explore the hidden religiosity in the performance of music.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalTemenos: Studies in comparative religion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Music
  • Religion
  • transcendence
  • experience


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