Skip to main content

Jephtah's Daughter: A History of Alternating Musical Endings

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This work examines the relationship between the endings chosen for musical works based on the biblical story of Jephtah's daughter and broader currents of European thought. Because the biblical story leaves the fate of Jephtah's daughter unclear, commentators have offered two interpretations: Jephtah's daughter is either sacrificed or consecrated to God. The examination of these two interpretations in the various commentaries and artistic works throughout the ages suggest a possible correlation between a given artist's religious affiliation and the type of ending he composed for the story. Although Catholics would appear more likely to choose consecration as promoting the ideal of women's celibacy, no such correlation is seen in practice. Rather, the determining factor in the choice of the musical ending of the story is the dominant artistic convention of the time. This finding is in line with Curt Sachs's cultural theory of a universal pendulum of styles in Western civilization. Thus, the specific choice of the ending of the story of Jephtah's daughter in various artistic media may serve as a paradigm for broader trends of European thought.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more