The following guidelines are designed to assist those interested in submitting articles for publication in Choral Journal, the official publication of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).
Approximately 25% of submissions are accepted for publication as a feature article based on the original submission draft.
An additional 30% are recommended for revision and resubmission for a second review.
*Note: ALL accepted submissions will go through an editing and proofing process to align with Choral Journal style.
Articles not conforming to the guidelines may be returned for revision. Articles submitted for review should be concise and contain primarily new or original information or research relevant to the choral art. This is not meant to exclude a fresh and creative approach to standard materials. Lengthy articles should be divided into sections separated by subtitles to lead the reader through the article.
Approximate word count lengths are as follows, although a submission will not be rejected outright due to length:
Feature article: 4,000-6,000 | Column: 1,000-2,000
The author should use a writing style that is direct and easily
understood. Extremes of academic stuffiness, research terminology, vague
generalities, and overworked educational jargon should be avoided. The
final draft should be carefully proofread and free of grammatical
errors. Quotations should be
brief and should not make up the majority of the material. Referenced material should be indicated by superscript Arabic
numbers and cited in endnotes, which should be double-spaced, numbered
consecutively, and formatted in the style of Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. For a quick citation guide, click here.
Please note: All footnotes should be converted to endnotes before submission, and pages should be numbered.
For articles with musical examples/figures, placement of musical figures should be indicated within the body of the article (i.e., "Figure 1"). Permission of copyright owner should be given underneath each musical example (e.g., copyright year, publisher, and a reprint permission statement). The article is not complete until the author has obtained all necessary copyright permissions.
All articles submitted are subject to a blind review by 3-5 members of the editorial board. Articles are accepted for publication when board members determine that the article contains information that pertains directly to the general interests of the national ACDA membership. Some expanded criteria for acceptance are:
1. Topic is of national importance and/or will interest many readers. Editors of state or division newsletters welcome articles on topics of local or regional interest.
2. Article offers new knowledge of or insight into the topic. Articles that rely heavily on secondary sources are seldom judged to offer new knowledge. For example, extensive citations from New Grove articles are usually rejected. A compilation of widely scattered secondary sources, however, might effectively demonstrate a new hypothesis.
3. Article will challenge readers' thinking.
4. Material is timely. Anniversaries of composers or choral events offer timely opportunities for articles.
5. Premise is well defined, supported, and developed. The purpose of the article should be clear. The author should supply convincing evidence to support their thesis, developing the premise so that a reader unfamiliar with the topic will understand the article's arguments.
6. Scope is appropriate: neither too narrow nor too broad. An example of too broad a scope would be an article that introduced a composer, presented biographical information in detail, and then compared all the composer's cantatas point-for-point with the cantatas of Telemann and Bach. Such an article could be made appropriate in scope by reducing the biographical material to a paragraph or two that discussed aspects of the composer's life and works that were important to the present study. Works relevant to the thesis could then be selected for analysis. If the goal is to prove that this composer imitates the text symbolism or rhythmic techniques of Bach, for example, a selective presentation of works that strengthen this point would be in order. If numerous works are studied as a part of preparation for the article, findings should be summarized rather than set out in detail work by work.
7. Information is precise, accurate, and well documented. Sometimes writers use vague, subjective adjectives to describe musical elements ‹e.g., a "wonderful" melody or "beautiful" harmonies or "fine" orchestration. Precise, objective descriptions are more effective at convincing readers that the work is wonderful, beautiful, or fine.
8. Article is well written, and material flows in an easily read
9. Most of the ideas seem to be the author's, and quotes enhance the article. Secondary-source quotes offering analytical descriptions of scores are not as strong as original musical insights, unless the source of the citation has special significance. Analyses that take a "road-map" approach to the score by simply listing all musical events as they occur cause readers to lose interest.
12. Material is not readily available in other publications. If a topic has been covered in a recent book or journal that overlaps Choral Journal readership, it is assumed that readers who are interested in that topic will find that material. Material that may be considered common knowledge by some may be new to nascent conductors and, if originally presented in a new context, can prove valuable.
13. Article avoids promoting a company, person, product, or performing organization.
**Note: The Choral Journal retains ownership and all copyright privileges of manuscripts and accompanying material published in the Journal. Authors wishing to reprint their manuscript in another publication must request reprint permission, which will be granted as long as a statement in the reprint version indicates that "permission to reprint was granted by the American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal."**
Articles should be submitted via email to Choral Journal editor, Amanda Bumgarner
Contact information (phone/email):
5. Name the top 2 categories from the following list where your article best fits:
-Choral compositions, arranging, editing, and publishing
-Choral conducting and choral techniques
-Choral music up to and including 18th century
-Choral music 19th century to present day
-Composers and their choral music
-Educational techniques and philosophy
-Forms of choral music
-High school chorus
-History and analysis of choral music
-Middle school chorus
-Music and worship
-Performance practice, style, and interpretation
-Voice and vocal pedagogy