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 their website and check out their joint conference "Ecomusicologies 2012." 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) and Ecomusicology: A Field Guide (co-edited with Kevin Dawe). Conference presentations include venues in music scholarship (e.g., AMS and SEM), interdisciplinary studies (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. Visit this page for some of Dr. Allen's recent writings in ecomusicology.

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 and published papers on the topic, and 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.

Ecomusicology publications:

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

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

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

"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.

  • PDF available here and 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.

"Global Warming, Climate Change, 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, forthcoming 2013). Reproduced by permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA.

"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).

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

with Laurence Libin, "Sustainability," Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Second Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).


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.

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.