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Dana Gooley

Associate Professor of Music:

Dana Gooley's research centers on European music and musical culture in the 19th century, with an emphasis on performance culture and the public sphere. A specialist of Franz Liszt and other pianists, he has also published on music criticism, virtuosity, and improvisation. He is writing a book on the aesthetics of improvisation in the 19th century. In his second research area, jazz history, he has worked on jam sessions, the jazz "standard," and conventional tropes of performance.


I studied piano at New England Conservatory and English at Wesleyan University before pursuing my Ph.D. in musicology at Princeton University, finishing in 1999. My research has centered on Franz Liszt, music criticism, and the 19th century cult of the virtuoso. While in graduate school I developed a passion for jazz and I still perform regularly with my quartet Inventions. I also began giving courses in jazz history and this has fed into my secondary area, jazz history. I am currently writing a book on improvisation and the 19th century pianist-composer. Since coming to Brown I have taken a strong interest in bridging performance studies and music history, and this has led to new projects on the history of conventions of musical performance. I give courses on music history, improvisation, opera, historiography, jazz, and European cultural history.


I teach courses in the history of European classical music of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, as well in the history of jazz. I regularly offer surveys of opera and of 19th -20th century music. I have given graduate seminars on improvisation and performance historiography. My jazz courses include a context-rich survey of jazz history as well as seminars on Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. I have further taught courses on film music, the fantastic, the philosophy of music, and modernist manifestos.

Funded Research

Dana Gooley received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to spend a year in Berlin researching his dissertation research, and an award from the American Musicological Society (AMS 50) to complete it. After completion he received a short-term research grant from the DAAD, and has recently received research travel grants from the W. P. Jones fund and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. He received the Wendy Strothman Faculty Research Award in 2011. At Brown he has been awarded faculty fellowships at the Cogut Center for the Humanities and the Pembroke Center.

Curriculum Vitae

Download Dana Gooley's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format