Katherine Dacey

Assistant Professor

"Though I'm a musicologist, I also have a background in American history and American studies. When I teach a course, I draw on all of those disciplines so that students can appreciate the music we're studying as a product of a particular place, time, and technology."

"Right now, for example, I'm teaching a Topics in History class called The American Music Industry. The course provides an overview of music business practices here in the United States, beginning with sheet music publishing and piano manufacturing in the 19th century. We then explore the birth of the recording industry in the 1880s and 1890s, the impact of film and radio on the music industry of the 1920s and 1930s, and the emergence of new recording techniques and new marketing practices in the post-World War II era. By focusing on these major paradigm shifts, students leave the class with a better sense of what's happening right now in the music industry, as digital distribution is changing the way we consume music. Students also develop a clearer sense of how popular music reflects the time period in which it's written, whether we're talking about pro-Union Civil War songs or early Delta blues recordings.

 

Career Highlights

B.A., history, Columbia University

  • M.A., American studies, College of William and Mary
  • M.Phil., musicology, Columbia University
  • Former editor-in-chief at Current Musicology
  • Published in Critical Voicings of Black Liberation: Resistence and Representations in the Americas, and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart