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Eric Smigel

Associate Professor of Musicology

Eric Smigel

Office: M235
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Ph.D University of Southern California
MA University of Southern California
BM San Diego State University


Eric Smigel is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Musicology Program at San Diego State University. He received the M.A. degree in music history and Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Southern California, where he was twice recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in the Department of Music History and Literature. While in Los Angeles, he taught music history at USC, served as a research assistant at the Getty Research Institute, provided pre-concert lectures for the Da Camera Society, worked as an educator for the International House of Blues Foundation, and was a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Before joining the faculty at SDSU, he served as Assistant Professor of Music at Utah State University, where he taught music history, music theory, and an interdisciplinary arts course. At SDSU Prof. Smigel teaches a variety of courses in music history, music research, and musicology, as well as a general education course in psychedelic rock of the 1960s. He is also a “Prelude Presenter” for the chamber music series of the La Jolla Music Society.


Prof. Smigel is a member of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Society for Minimalist Music, and the College Music Society, and has presented papers at regional, national, and international conferences. His primary research interest is music of the 20th century and its relation to other arts and sciences. His dissertation, “Alchemy of the Avant-Garde: David Tudor and the New Music of the 1950s,” concerns performance and aesthetic issues of experimental piano music from the United States and Europe, and he has published articles and reviews on various topics of American experimental music in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, American Music, Perspectives of New Music, Tempo, MusikTexte, Interdisciplinary Humanities, General Music Today, and The World From Here: Treasures of the Great Libraries of Los Angeles. Prof. Smigel is currently preparing a book-length study of American composer James Tenney, which will highlight the composer’s relationship with visual and performance artist Carolee Schneemann and filmmaker Stan Brakhage. He is also compiling a critical anthology of source readings of modern American artists, composers, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, playwrights, and poets.


Find out more about the Musicology Program at SDSU.