The Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies (JIMS) is an international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal with no publication fee. It aims to establish a broad interdisciplinary platform for music researchers. JIMS especially promotes collaborations between sciences and humanities, and provocative submissions that stimulate interdisciplinary discussion. JIMS is unique among international music research journals in its coverage of all epistemological approaches to all musical issues.

The journal aims

  • to contribute towards an understanding of music in all its manifestations, definitions and contexts
  • to promote interdisciplinary synergy among humanities and sciences
  • to promote academic quality and the application of research findings

JIMS is currently limited to special issues following the Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology. If you are interested in the possibility of organizing such a conference, please contact Richard Parncutt. First, please check out the homepages of previous such conferences. Note that you will need a relevant doctorate and relevant publications, and a theme that can be expressed concisely (usually in one word) and is of equal interest for humanities scholars and scientists working on musical issues.

The journal aims to cover

  • all subdisciplines or paradigms of musicology, including analytical, applied, comparative, cultural, empirical, ethnological, historical, popular, scientific, systematic and theoretical, and
  • all musically relevant disciplines, including acoustics, aesthetics, anthropology, archeology, art history and theory, biology, cognitive sciences, composition, computing, cultural studies, economics, education, engineering, ethnology, gender studies, history, linguistics, literary studies, mathematics, medicine, music theory and analysis, neurosciences, perception, performance, philosophy, physiology, popular music, prehistory, psychoacoustics, psychology, religious studies, semiotics, sociology, sport, statistics and therapy.

JIMS primarily aims to bridge the gap between humanities and sciences in music research, but we also encourage interactions between research and practice. Musical practice includes performance, composition, education, therapy, and medicine; music research involves both humanities and sciences. Practical aspects of the musical humanities include (for example) the history of performance practice, compositionally oriented music theory, and the teaching of ethnomusicology. Practical aspects of the musical sciences include the psychology of music performance, music medicine, and musically relevant engineering applications.

Mission statement

JIMS promotes a positive intellectual environment within all of music research by facilitating and encouraging productive interactions between the humanities and sciences. JIMS aims to give individual music researchers the freedom and ability to collaborate with colleagues from contrasting disciplines that are relevant to their particular research interests and questions. JIMS aims to expose and deconstruct significant impediments to such interactions, whether they be associated with research environments (institutions and infrastructues) or traditions (culture and psychology). JIMS draws attention to epistemological differences and associated tensions and taboos within musicology, with the aim of developing the means to overcome them.

For many decades, a latent conflict between humanities and sciences (the “two cultures”) has affected research and scholarship in many disciplines (C. P. Snow, 1956, 1959, 1964). As in most major conflicts, each side tends to assume that its own knowledge, attitudes, assumptions, methods, standards and so on are fundamentally superior to those of the other side. For example, scientists tacitly assume that empirical, quantitative, statistical research methods are superior, while humanities reject scientific positivism, address fine nuances, and embrace complexity and subjectivity. On both sides, both mutual ignoring and mutual ignorance tend to be reinforced by existing power structures and dominant discourses, and maintained by old, resilient, often unspoken assumptions and prejudices. In fact, as Snow pointed out, each side in this conflict knows so little about the other side as to make such comparisons unrealistic. One might have expected academics to be the first to recognize and act on such inconsistencies, and of course many do. But in many areas we have allowed a deeply entrenched atmosphere of mistrust between humanities and sciences to inhibit productive interdisciplinary communication.

The humanities in musicology are primarily represented by the subdisciplines (historical) musicology and ethnomusicology; the sciences by music acoustics, psychology, physiology and information sciences. The conflict between humanities and sciences within musicology shares basic features with the more general conflict outside of musicology; for example, even the most sensitive and well-meaning music researchers regularly act as if theirs is the “real” music research and the other side (or in the language of alterity research: the Other) does not exist (e.g. relevant research is not cited) or, at best, is not worth taking seriously. JIMS assumes that music research (or musicology, in the original sense of the word) will only realise its full potential when this deep-seated conflict is exposed and actively addressed. To achieve this goal, JIMS applies general principles and strategies of conflict resolution such as the promotion of mutual goals, contact, knowledge and respect. The specific aims and detailed procedures of JIMS are intended to align with this overarching agenda.

JIMS is an open-access journal. It provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. JIMS content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC).

We welcome suggestions on how to improve this mission statement and the agreement between this statement and our specific procedures at our page on interdisciplinarity. Please write to the administrative editor.

The journal is indexed by

Unipub Open Access (University of Graz)
Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale (RILM)
ZDB OPAC (Zeitschriftendatenbank)

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