Joseph R. Matson is a scholar of music history from the nineteenth century to the present. He was a long-time member of the Millikin Big Bluegrass Band, and the founder and co-director of Walking in Florence, an interdisciplinary study abroad program.
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Teaching Interests & Areas
Matson has taught courses in graduate research methods, music history, non-Western music, American music, music appreciation, pop music history, bluegrass performance, and the Florentine Renaissance. He currently teaches at Illinois State University and has held previous faculty positions at Illinois Wesleyan University and Millikin University.
Research Interests & Areas
Matson’s research explores musical borrowing at the turn of the twenty-first century, and the performance practice of nineteenth-century German songs (lieder). He completed a doctoral dissertation on musical borrowing, showing how artists such as Paul Simon, Rivers Cuomo, and Chris Thile incorporate musical allusions and quotations into their works. His master’s thesis discusses various approaches to the performance of Schubert’s lieder.
Matson’s publications appear in Music References Services Quarterly, Notes, American Music Research Center Journal, Grove Dictionary of American Musicians, and other places. He has copyedited more than thirty books for Oxford University Press and more than 1,750 encyclopedia articles published in Oxford Music Online.