Journal Special Issue (Call for Papers) - Musical Aesthetics: Historical and Contemporary Issues

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA)
contact email: 

Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (ISSN 0252-8169)Vol. 45, No. 2, Summer 2022
SPECIAL ISSUE - Musical Aesthetics: Historical and Contemporary Issues

The words “musical aesthetics” encompass many philosophical issues that pertain to music. Besides many others, these include the following. What is music, and what is its nature? How is music different from sounds, noise, and silence, and how does it relate to these? What is the value of music? And what is its purpose? Does music have meaning, and how are we to understand this? How can music without words or an associated story express or be expressive of emotions, feelings, and moods? Does music arouse such extra-musical affective mental states? If so, how? Can music represent or be otherwise associated with extra-musical things such as the seasons, the times of the day, birdcalls, thunderstorms, and so on? How should we understand musical performance? What about musical improvisation? Is there a distinct aesthetics of song as opposed to purely instrumental music? Do different kinds of musics — Indian classical music, Western classical music, rock, jazz, rap, hip-hop, and so on — call for different musical aesthetics, or is there enough in common across these?       

All sorts of disciplines are relevant to musical aesthetics as being necessary though not sufficient for it. Among others, these include musicology, music theory, musical analysis, music criticism, etc. But while these studies all matter to musical aesthetics, they should not be confused with musical aesthetics, which in turn should not be reduced to any one of these nor to some combination thereof.    

It is to be hoped that future practitioners of musical aesthetics will consider and philosophize about music across different cultures and the ages. Otherwise, there is grave danger that they will be only be engaged in “the aesthetics of Western classical music,” “or “the aesthetics of rock music,” or “the aesthetics of grunge,” and the like. After all, we are all the same species, homo sapiens, and across different cultures and the ages, we all have twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. It should not be surprising then that despite many differences amongst the myriad musics of the world, there should also be something in common, in that many musics use scales, stress some notes as primary and others as secondary, subdivide rhythmic groupings into twos, threes, and fours, and so on.  

Last date for submission of abstract (or full papers): 31 December 2021.


Submissions must be properly typed out in MS Word (Times New Roman, 12 Font), not exceeding 8,000 words and not below 5,000, complete with an abstract of 100 words alongside 4-5 keywords, incorporated within the essay itself. All essays shall be peer-reviewed and those abounding in solecisms, catachresis or insufficiently argued shall be returned unread. ‘Works Cited’ must preferably follow the MLA 8th convention without exception. Footnotes are welcome, although Endnotes are easier to process, hence recommended.

Each essay submitted must also carry a declaration that it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. The cover letter should include a brief author’s bio with no revelation of the author’s identity in the paper itself. An acknowledgment shall be sent upon receipt. Further communication shall be made within a month only after the editor considers the paper worthy of publication. Revisions must be returned in two weeks without further delay.


The "Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics" (ISSN: 0252-8169) is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, India since 1977. The Institute was founded by Prof. Ananta Charan Sukla (1942-2020) on 22 August 1977 coinciding with the birth centenary of renowned philosopher, aesthetician, and historian of Indian art, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) to promote interdisciplinary studies and research in comparative literature, aesthetics, philosophy, literary theory and criticism, art history, criticism of the arts, and history of ideas. ("Vishvanatha Kaviraja", most widely known for his masterpiece in aesthetics, 'Sahityadarpana' or the “Mirror of Composition”, was a prolific 14th-century Indian scholar, poetician, and rhetorician.)

The Journal has published the finest of essays by authors of global renown like Rene Wellek, Harold Osborne, John Hospers, John Fisher, Murray Krieger, Martin Bocco, Remo Ceserani, J.B. Vickery, Menachem Brinker, Milton Snoeyenbos, Mary Wiseman, Ronald Roblin, T.R. Martland, S.C. Sengupta, K.R.S. Iyengar, V.K. Chari, Charles Altieri, Martin Jay, Jonathan Culler, Richard Shusterman, Robert Kraut, T.J. Diffey, T.R. Quigley, R.B. Palmer, Keith Keating, and many others. It also publishes special issues on critical theories of current interest and contemporary relevance.

JCLA is indexed and abstracted in the MLA International Bibliography, Master List of Periodicals (USA), Ulrich’s Directory of Periodicals, ERIH PLUS, The Philosopher’s Index, WorldCat Directory, ACLA, EBSCO, ProQuest (Arts Premium Collection; Art, Design & Architecture Collection; Arts & Humanities Database; Literature Online – Full Text Journals; India Database; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Central Essentials; ProQuest Central Basic – Korea), Gale (Cengage Learning), Academic Resource Index, PhilPapers, Indian Documentation Service, Book Review Index Plus, OCLC, Periodicals Index Online, United States Library of Congress, and the British Library. The journal is also indexed in numerous university (central) libraries, state and public libraries, and scholarly organizations/ learned societies databases.

Celebrated scholars of the time like Rene Wellek, Harold Osborne, Mircea Eliade, Monroe Beardsley, John Hospers, John Fisher, Meyer Abrams, John Boulton, and many renowned foreign and Indian scholars were Members of its Editorial Board.

Founding Editor: Ananta Charan Sukla, Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute, India

EDITORIAL BOARD: W. J. T. Mitchell, Peter Lamarque, Charles Altieri, Jonathan Culler, Terry Eagleton, Robert Stecker, Noël Carroll, Garry Hagberg, Stephen Halliwell, Sheldon Pollock, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Martha C. Nussbaum, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, George E. Rowe, Stephen Davies, John Hyman, Meir Sternberg, Roger T. Ames, Susan L. Feagin, Rita Felski, Zhang Longxi, Arindam Chakrabarti, Peter E. Gordon, David Fenner, Keith Moser.