Dr. Joseph E. Morgan
Assistant Professor, Musicology
Joseph E. Morgan studied classical guitar and European history at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a Bachelor of Arts. At the University of Maryland, College Park, he earned his Master’s degree with a thesis titled Five Depictions of Chaos from the 18th Century. From there, he moved to Boston where he earned his Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Brandeis University writing on Carl Maria von Weber’s Romanticism and particularly his last opera Oberon. Since then he has served on the faculties of Boston University, Brandeis University, Johnson and Wales University, Montgomery College, New England Conservatory, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Harvard University where he won the prestigious Bok Center Award for his work teaching Music Theory 1a, “Theory for Non-Majors.”
His primary research focuses on the dramatic music, theory and aesthetics of Germany in the early 19th century. He has presented research on E. T. A. Hoffmann, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Carl Maria von Weber at various regional, national and international conferences and published in the Indiana Theory Review, Notes and Sinerís: revista de musicologia. However, his secondary research interests cross the traditional (and somewhat tedious) boundaries between ‘classical’ and ‘popular’ music, having published numerous encyclopedia articles on various topics including ‘Gangsta Rap’ and‘H. L. Menken’ in the Grove Dictionary of American Music as well as ‘Birdsong’ and ‘Patriotism’ in The Encyclopedia of Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
His book, Carl Maria von Weber: Cosmopolitanism in the Early German Romantic, published by Rowman & Littlefield and available for purchase here, reassesses Weber’s work and aesthetics not just for their influence but also as an expression of the aesthetics and cosmopolitanism that underlay the early Romantic and Nationalist movement in Germany.
Finally, Morgan is a husband and father (two roles which he gives most importance). He currently lives and teaches in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he still tries to break out his guitar once in a while.