Matthew Morrison

Associate Professor

Matthew D. Morrison

Matthew D. Morrison, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an Associate Professor in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Matthew holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Columbia University, an. M.A. in Musicology from The Catholic University of America, and was a Presidential music scholar at Morehouse College where he studied violin and conducting. His research focuses on the relationship between (racial) identity, performance, property, copyright law, and inequities within the history of American popular music and beyond.

Prior to his appointment at NYU, Professor Morrison was a Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow through NYU’s Office of the Provost, and he has served as adjunct faculty at Vassar College, as well as Dean of Faculty for the W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Institute housed at Princeton University. He has been awarded the Susan McClary and Robert Walser Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies Fellow from 2021-2022, where he held residencies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and at the Dahlem Humanities Center at the Freie Universität, Berlin. His published work has appeared in publications such as the Journal of the American Musicological SocietyAmerican Music, Journal of Musicology, Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, the Grove Dictionary of American Music, Oxford Handbooks, art forums/publications, and on Oxford University Press's online music blog.

He has been as a research fellow in the Modern Moves research project at King’s College, London, has held fellowships from institutions such as the Harvard University, the American Musicological Society, the Op-Ed project, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Center for Popular Music Studies/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also served as a consultant and facilitator with arts organizations on programming and issues related to equity and justice, such as The Schubert Club and the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra, where from 2017-2018, he collaborated on planning and moderating the multi-city touring forum with Glimmerglass to discuss the role of art in stimulating public discussion about equity, diversity and inclusion in opera, as well as operas commissioned by the Breaking Glass project. He also contributes creatively as a dramaturg, artistic and creative consultant within the arts, partnering with organizations such as Theory, Warner Music Group, SONY music, and “The Sound Track of America” opening concert series at the SHED, NYC, along with Quincy Jones, Steve McQueen, and Maureen Mahon.

Professor Morrison has given a range of talks and keynotes at institutions such as Cambridge University, The University of Leeds, the Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), The University of Chicago, The Dalton School (NYC), Temple University, Royal Conservatory of Music (Glasgow), and the University of Santa Barbara, among others. His book, Blacksound: Making Race in Popular Music in the United States, is published by The University of California Press in Spring 2024. This book traces the aesthetic and political legacy of blackface minstrelsy in an effort to uncover the relationship between performance, racial identity, and intellectual property in the making of global popular music and its industry from the early nineteenth century into the present. For more, visit:


Blacksound: Making Race and Popular Music in the United States. University of California Press, March 2024.

“‘Do You Hear Me, Though?’: Ramsey and the Politics of Black Music Inquiry,” in printed Symposium on Guthrie Ramsey’s Who Hears Here: On Black Music, Pasts and Present (University of California Press, 2024). American Music, 41 (forthcoming).

Confronting Ethical and Social Issues Related to the Genetics of Musicality.” Reyna L. Gordon, Daphne O. Martshenko, Srishti Nayak, Maria Niarchou, Matthew D. Morrison, Eamonn Bell, Nori Jacobi, & Lea K. Davis.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1522, no. 1 (April 2023): 1-10.

“MT/D, or Change: An Anti-racist Musical Theatre Reading Group: Donatella Galella, Masi Asare, Jordan Ealey, Saj, Hye Won Kim, Matthew D. Morrison, Fred Moten, Karen Shimakawa, Celine Parreñas Shimizu.” Studies in Musical Theater, 16 no. 1 (2022): 53-76.

“Lily Hirsch, Imani Mosley, Robin James, & Matthew D. Morrison: Review of Musicology Twitter.” Journal of Musicological Research, 40, no. 4 (Sept. 2021): 349-55.

Race, Blacksound, and the (Re)Making of Musicological Discourse.” The Journal of the American Musicological Society, 72 no. 3. (2019): 781-823.

“The Sound(s) of Subjection: Constructing American Popular Music and Racial Identity Through Blacksound.Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 27 no. 1 (Feb. 2017): 13-24.

“Race and the Boundaries of Musicology” in Colloquy, “Musicology Beyond Borders.” Journal of the American Musicological Society, 65, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 851-61.

 “Race, Sound, and Performance” special issue, Editor-in-Chief. Current Musicology 93 (Spring 2012): 1-154.