Dr. Aaron Ziegel is an Associate Professor and Division Leader of Music History and
Culture. He teaches courses on music in the United States of America, the full chronological
span of Western art music, opera studies, symphonic literature, and writing about
music. His teaching and advising engages with music majors, non-majors, and graduate
students. His research publications range widely across the broad spectrum of American
musics, encompassing such diverse outlets as American opera, film music, American
popular song, and the army training camp music of World War I.
Dr. Ziegel’s central research focus examines American operas of the early 20th century. Articles in Music and Politics (2019) and the Opera Journal (2009) and a book chapter in the collection In Search of the “Great American Opera” (Waxmann Verlag, 2016) trace the emergence of a nationalist style of opera writing during
the early years of the twentieth century. In collaboration with Towson University student singers, he presented a program of
long-forgotten scenes and arias from Romantic-era American operas. An article in the
journal American Music (2016) explores the career of Arthur Nevin during World War I, a period in which
he both premiered a new opera in Chicago and served in the Army as a teacher of mass
singing for the nearly 10,000 soldiers of Camp Grant in north central Illinois.
Dr. Ziegel has also written about the music of Vernon Duke, a composer equally adept
with both Broadway popular songs and classical concert music, in an article for the
journal American Music (2010) that challenges the traditional understanding of Duke’s compositional style and career.
An article in Music Research Forum (2011) compares the alternate film scores for Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête composed by Georges Auric and Philip Glass. Additional articles on the pedagogy of
music history appear in Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy (2014) and the Journal of Music History Pedagogy (2018). His research has been presented at annual meetings of the American Musicological
Society, the Society for American Music, the College Music Society, the Nineteenth
Century Studies Association, and the National Opera Association. He is also a frequent
pre-concert lecturer for Baltimore-based ensembles including the Handel Choir of Baltimore
and Pro Musica Rara.
Professor Ziegel received a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance, summa cum laude, and a Master’s in Music History at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory
of Music. He earned his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He studied piano with Elizabeth Pridonoff, Richard Fields, and Michael Chertock, and
harpsichord with Eiji Hashimoto and Charlotte Mattax. His principal teachers of musicology
include Gayle Sherwood Magee, bruce d. mcclung, Jeffrey Magee, Katherine Syer, and
View more information: https://www.towson.edu/cofac/departments/music/facultystaff/aziegel.html