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Moral Acoustic of Sound, The | The Human Resonances of Musicians | A Companion to the Musician's Soul | James Jordan

Rehearsals should be structured in a way that trusts that human beings are truly the miracle workers and that if we work on being human, the magic of this thing called “moral acoustic” will resonate in a powerful, honest, and compelling way. For at the very end of the day, our goal in harnessing the energy contained in a moral acoustic is to create the most honest and direct communicative voice possible—a voice that can change lives and enrich our humanness just by hearing it, feeling it, and being touched by its ‘moral acoustic.’

—James Jordan, from Chapter 4

This volume is a continuation of the journey James Jordan began in his now iconic book The Musician’s Soul. In The Moral Acoustic of Sound, Jordan explores and defines those factors that create a “moral acoustic”—those human resonances among and between musicians. This book delves into the nature of authenticity and honesty in choral sound and how conductors and teachers, through these new understandings, can draw forth that which is living within each ensemble of musicians no matter their age or experience. Using the power of metaphor, this book attempts to provide answers to unlock the magic and mysteries in music making and human expression.

Specific to the journey of The Moral Acoustic of Sound:

  • Understanding trust between and among musicians
  • The relationship of intonation and color as a function of moral acoustic
  • Humility and its role in music making
  • Thatching within an ensemble
  • Enfleshment as a vital part of music making
  • Metaphors that guide conductors to deeper listening
  • Fostering generosity in music making

Grammy-nominated conductor and music psychologist James Jordan is Professor and Senior Conductor at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where he conducts the acclaimed Westminster Williamson Voices and the Westminster Schola Cantorum. He is also Artistic Director and Conductor of The Same Stream ( He heads two of the leading programs in the world for mentoring conductors, serving as Director of the renowned Westminster Conducting Institute and Co-Director of the Choral Institute at Oxford, held annually at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford, UK.