Aaron S. Allen

Associate Professor

Music - Musicology

130 Music Building



Aaron S. Allen, Ph.D., F.A.A.R., is associate professor of musicology in the Music Studies Department of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he also serves on the faculty committee for the Environmental Studies Program and as the University's Academic Sustainability Coordinator. After receiving his B.S. (environmental studies) and B.A. (music) at Tulane University, Dr. Allen earned a Ph.D. in music at Harvard University. He was the recipient of the Paul Mellon Rome Prize and spent the 2011-12 academic year at the American Academy in Rome (visit this webpage for an interview about his time at the AAR).

Dr. Allen co-founded and for five years chaired the Ecocriticism Study Group (ESG) of the American Musicological Society (AMS), and he co-founded and chaired the Ecomusicology Special Interest Group (ESIG) of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM). For more information on ecomusicology, visit this website and check out their joint conference website, Ecomusicologies. He currently edits the Ecomusicology Newsletter, a joint project of the ESG and ESIG (available online here).

Dr. Allen is currently working on two ecomusicology book projects: The Tree that became a Lute: Musical Instruments, Sustainability and the Politics of Natural Resource Use (University of Illinois Press, co-authored with Jennifer Post and Kevin Dawe, planned for 2016) and Current Directions in Ecomusicology (co-edited with Kevin Dawe, planned for 2015). Conference presentations on ecomusicology include venues in music scholarship (e.g., AMS and SEM), interdisciplinary studies (e.g. 19th Century Studies Association), and environmental studies (American Society for Environmental History, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences); he has also given invited lectures at institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia.

After completing a dissertation on Beethoven in nineteenth-century Italy, Dr. Allen has continued to develop this unusual field of reception studies. He has delivered conference presentations and invited talks and has published papers on the topic. He is slowly working on a book tentatively entitled Fidelio in Italy: Beethoven Reception, Historiography, and the Crisis of 19th-Century Opera.

Aaron is originally from West Virginia, and his interests as an outdoorsman and woodworker result from his time on the family farm, where he recently hand built a solar-powered log cabin for his parents. You can reach him by the phone number or email above, or by scheduling an appointment via asallen.youcanbook.me.

Below is a selected bibliography of my publications in ecomusicology (including some forthcoming titles), campus sustainability, and Beethoven. Also included are some interviews and reportage. Many include full-text links to downloads or on-line publications. If you have trouble with any links or in tracking down any of these writings, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Ecomusicology publications:

"Sustainability" (with Laurence Libin), Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

with Jeff Todd Titon and Denise Von Glahn, "Sustainability and Sound: Ecomusicology Inside and Outside the University." Music and Politics VIII, no. 2 (2014): http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mp.9460447.0008.205.

"Ecomusicology," Grove Dictionary of American Music, Second Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

  • That entry appears on the main page of this website (for further information on how it was written, see this page).
  • Finnish translation: "Ekomusikologia," in Musiikin Suunta, XXXV, no. 1 (2013): 8-10.

"Environmental Changes and Music," in Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped our Culture, edited by Jacqueline Edmondson (Greenwood, 2013), 418-421. Reproduced by permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.

  • PDF available here (draft, pre-proofs, and note that my original title is "Global Warming, Climate Change, and Music"; I did not authorize the changed title!)

"Bruce Cockburn: Canadian, Christian, Conservationist," in Political Rock, eds. Mark Pedelty and Kristine Weglarz, 65-90 (Ashgate, 2013).

"Active Listening via Soundwalks," Ecomusicology Newsletter II, no. 2 (2013): 14-15.

"Of Ecomusicological Interest at AMS Pittsburgh," Ecomusicology Newsletter II, no. 2 (2013): 7.

"Activities of the ESG & ESIG in New Orleans," Ecomusicology Newsletter II, no. 1 (2013): 14.

with Kevin Dawe, "A Preview of Ecomusicologies 2012 and Related Activities at the Joint Annual Meetings of the AMS, SEM and SMT," Ecomusicology Newsletter I, no. 2 (2012): 7-11.

"Ecomusicology: Bridging the Sciences, Arts, and Humanities," in Environmental Leadership: A Reference Handbook, ed. Deborah Rigling Gallagher, 373-381 (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2012).

"Ecomusicology: Music, Culture, Environmental Studies . . . and Change," [Review Essay] Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 2, no. 2 (2012): 192-201. DOI 10.1007/s13412-012-0072-1.

with Miranda S. Freeman, "The Ecomusicology Bibliography via Zotero: A Dynamic and Emerging Scholarly Resource," Ecomusicology Newsletter 1 (January 2012): 6-9.

  • online.
  • The ecomusicology bibliography is available here.

"'Fatto di Fiemme': Stradivari's Violins and the Musical Trees of the Paneveggio," in Invaluable Trees: Cultures of Nature, 1660-1830, eds. Laura Auricchio, Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, and Giulia Pacini, 301-315 (Oxford: SVEC, 2012).

  • Book information here (contact me if you have trouble getting a copy).
  • Utne Reader (magazine) article mentioning this research.
  • Article by Mark Pedelty mentioning this research.

"Symphonic Pastorals," Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 15 (2011): 22-42. (Reproduced by permission.)

"Colloquy: Ecomusicology," Journal of the American Musicological Society 64, no. 2 (2011): 391-419.

  • This page provides further info and a PDF.
  • Includes my contribution, "Prospects and Problems for Ecomusicology in Confronting a Crisis of Culture," (pages 414-419).
    • Swedish translation: "Framtidsutsikter och problem för ekomusikologi i mötet med kulturens kris," in Nutida Musik no. 1 (2013): 36-39.
  • Includes my introduction, "Ecomusicology: Ecocriticism and Musicology" (pages 391-394).

Ecomusicology publications forthcoming & in preparation:

The Tree that became a Lute: Musical Instruments, Sustainability and the Politics of Natural Resource Use, monograph co-authored with Kevin Dawe and Jennifer C. Post (University of Illinois Press, under contract), in preparation.

Current Directions in Ecomusicology, co-edited with Kevin Dawe (Routledge, under contract), in preparation.

"Operatic and Ecological Imaginations," in Current Directions in Ecomusicology, co-edited by Aaron S. Allen and Kevin Dawe (Routledge, in preparation).

"Ecomusicology between Poetic and Practical," in Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology, edited by Hubert Zapf (Berlin: De Gruyter, in preparation).

"Ecomusicology," The SAGE Encyclopedia of Ethnomusicology, edited by Janet L. Sturman (in preparation).

"'A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion'? Climate Change and the North, Ecomusicology and Academic Discourse," preface to Climate Change, Music, and Nature, edited by Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Britta Sweers, in preparation.

"Ecomusicology," Oxford Bibliographies Online (in preparation).

Campus Sustainability publications:

"Institutional Change and Campus Greening at Tulane University," in Proceedings of a Conference on Sustainability of Wetlands and Water Resources, Oxford, Mississippi, May 23-26, 2000 (Asheville, NC: United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, General Technical Report SRS-50, March 2002): 4-13.

  • PDF here [an updated version of the chapter in the below Filho, ed., volume].

"Institutional Change and Leadership in Greening the Campus," in Sustainability and University Life, ed. Walter Leal Filho (Frankfurt: Peter Lang Publishers, 1999): 105-127.

"Greening the Campus: Institutional Environmental Change at Tulane University," thesis (B.S. in Ecological Studies, Summa Cum Laude, May 1999).

with Charles Reith, The Tulane Environmental Faculty Enrichment Seminar (New Orleans: Tulane University Environmental Studies Program, 1996), http://www.tulane.edu/~efes/.

Beethoven publications:

"Beethoven as pianista? The Reception of Beethoven's Piano Music in Italy through the 1860s," Arietta: Journal of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, no. 8 (2014): 48-60.

Review of Benedetta Saglietti, Beethoven, ritratti e immagini, for Imago Musicae, vol. 25 (2012), 205-211.

"Beethoven and George Thomson: A New Letter Fragment from 1816," The Beethoven Journal 23, no. 1 (Summer 2008): 24-32.

"Beethoven's Music in Nineteenth-Century Italy: A Critical Review of Its Reception Through the Early 1860s." Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, 2006.

Interviews / Reportage:

Jacobsson, Johan. "Miljö och musik i sällsynt harmoni," Klimatmagasinet Effekt (2014): 51-52.

Titon, Jeff Todd. "Sound and Sustainability at AASHE," Sustainable Music: A Research Blog (8 December 2013), http://sustainablemusic.blogspot.com/2013/12/sound-and-sustainability-at-aashe.html

"Musicologist Aaron Allen reaches out to all students and faculty to consider sustainability," Campus Weekly (26 February 2013), http://ure.uncg.edu/prod/cweekly/2013/02/26/aaronallen/

Engström, Andreas and Juha Torvinen. "Musiikintutkimus ja kulttuurinen ympäristökriisi" ["Music Research and Environmental Crises in Culture"], Musiikin Suunta [The Direction of Music], XXXV, no. 1 (2013): 49-54.

  • Original Finnish available here.
  • Swedish translation: "Ekomusikologi – för att förstå vår omvärld" ["Ecomusicology: In Order to Understand the World around Us"], Nutida Musik no. 1 (2013): 32-35.
  • English translation available here. Engström, Andreas & Juha Torvinen. "The Study of the Music & Culture of the Environmental Crisis: Interview with Aaron S. Allen." Ecomusicology Newsletter II, no. 2 (2013): 3, 20-23.

"Musicologist Aaron Allen Is Expanding the Academy Table and His Field of Study," American Academy in Rome, The Glimpse Series (15 July 2012), http://www.aarome.org/news/features/glimpse-series-musicologist-aaron-allen-expanding-academy-table-and-his-field-study