Markus Rathey

Markus Rathey's picture

Markus Rathey is the Robert S. Tangeman Professor in the Practice of Music History. His research interests are music of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the relationship between music, religion, and politics during the Enlightenment. His books include Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio: Music, Theology, Culture (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Bach’s Major Vocal Works: Music, Drama, Liturgy (Yale University Press, 2016; Japanese translation in 2017); Johann Rudolph Ahle (1625–1673): Lebensweg und Schaffen (Eisenach, 1999), an edition of Johann Georg Ahle’s Music Theoretical Writings (Hildesheim, 2007, 2nd edition 2008), and Kommunikation und Diskurs: Die Bürgerkapitänsmusiken Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachs (Hildesheim, 2009).

A recent, multi-year research collaboration on music and religion in the long nineteenth century culminated in two books. The book Theology, Music and Modernity: Struggles for Freedom (Oxford University Press, 2021, co-edited with J. Begbie and D. Chua) focuses on the philosophical and theological discourses in the decades around 1800 and their impact on musical composition and performance. The second book, Sacred and Secular Intersections in Music of the Long Nineteenth Century: Church, Stage, and Concert Hall (Lexington Press, 2022, co-edited with Eftychia Papanikolaou) extends the focus to works from the later nineteenth century and also highlights musical traditions from France, Russia, Poland, and the US.

He has contributed articles to Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, the Laaber Lexikon der Kirchenmusik, and the handbook for the new German Hymnal (Liederkunde zum Evangelischen Gesangbuch). He has published numerous articles on music by Bach and his contemporaries in scholarly journals such as Eighteenth-Century MusicEarly Music HistoryBach-Jahrbuch, and Schütz-Jahrbuch. Professor Rathey is past president of the American Bach Society (2016-2020) and of the Forum on Music and Christian Scholarship (2009–2011). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Yale Journal for Music and Religion.

He studied musicology, Protestant theology, and German in Bethel and Münster. He taught at the University of Mainz and the University of Leipzig and was a research fellow at the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, before joining the Yale faculty in 2003.


Music History
Appointment Type: 
Graduate faculty
Undergraduate faculty