Thomas Brothers, Curriculum Vitae

1113 Watts Street
Durham, NC 27701

May 2005


Ph.D. in Music, University of California at Berkeley, 1991
M.A. in Music, University of California at Berkeley, 1982
B.A. in Music,  University of Pennsylvania, 1979  Magna cum laude

Employment History

Duke University, Associate Professor with tenure, 1998-present
Duke University, Assistant Professor, 1991-1998
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Visiting Assistant Professor, 1990-91
University of California at Berkeley, Graduate Student Instructor: 1987 (musicianship for non-majors), 1988 (musicianship for music majors)
University of California at Berkeley, Teaching Assistant: 1981 (music appreciation), 1982 (African-American music), 1986 (Beethoven; Opera)
Woodstock Country School (High School, Woodstock, VT), music teacher, 1979-80 (theory, jazz history, piano, voice, musicianship, appreciation)

Awards, Grants, Fellowships

Fellow at the National Humanities Center, 2003-2004
Fellow at the John Hope Franklin Institute, Duke University, 2001-2002 (seminar entitled “Historicizing Identities”)
Fellow at Harvard's Villa I Tatti, Research Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence Italy, 1999-2000
Duke University, Arts and Science Research Council Grants (2004-2005; 2003-2004; 2002-2003; 2001-2002; 1998-99; 1997-98; 1995-96; 1994-95; 1993-94; 1992-93)
Duke University, Junior Faculty Research Leave (Fall 1994)
"AMS 50"  dissertation fellow  1989-90
University of California Humanities Graduate Research Grant  1989      
Passed Comprehensive Exams for Ph.D. with distinction ,1988
Gabriel Charlebois Scholarship 1988
Graduate Student Instructor Course Improvement Grant 1988
Alfred Hertz Memorial Fellowship 1987
Alfred Hertz Memorial Fellowship 1980
B.A., Magna cum Laude, with Honors in Music 1979



Louis Armstrong: In His Own Words, Oxford University Press, 1999. This book has been reviewed in many places, including The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Republic. Paperback edition published in March 2001.  More than 20,000 copies sold.

Chromatic Beauty in the Late-Medieval Chanson: An Interpretation of Manuscript Accidentals, Cambridge University Press, 1997.   This book has been reviewed in Notes (1999); Music and Letters 80 (1999): 274-281; Journal of the Royal Musical Association (1999); Speculum  (1999); and in the Journal of the American Musicological Society (1998). An electronic edition of this book was released by Cambridge University Press (through the netLibrary service at in 2002.

“Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans” This completed book will be published by W. W. Norton in March 2006.  


“Variety and Repetition in Mass and Motet, 1425-1500,” forthcoming in a Festschrif for Timothy McGee, expected publication in 2005.

“Flats and Chansons in MS Florence, B.N., P. 26,” forthcoming in a book on MS Chantilly 564, edited by Anne Stone and Yolanda Plumley for Minerve Press, 2003

“Louis Armstrong, the ‘Saints’ and the ‘Boys,’” Musica Oggi vol. 21 (2001), pp. 5-21

“Music,” Introduction to Lives and Legacies: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World, Oryx Press, 2001

"Accidentals in Binchois's Songs," in Binchois Studies, ed. Dennis Slavin and Andrew Kirkman, Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 251-275.

 "Ideology and Aurality in the Vernacular Traditions of African-American Music,"  Black Music Research Journal (1997): 169-209. 

"Contenance Angloise and Accidentals in Some Motets by Du Fay," Plainsong and Medieval Music 6 (1997): 21-51. 

"Musica Ficta and Harmony in Machaut's Songs," Journal of Musicology 15 (1997): 501-528.

"Sharps in Medée Fu: Questions of Style and Analysis," Studi Musicali 24 (1995): 3-25.     

"Solo and Cycle in African-American Jazz," The Musical Quarterly 78 (1994): 479-509.   

"Vestiges of the Isorhythmic Tradition in Masses and Motets, ca. 1450-1475,"Journal of the American Musicological Society  44 (1991): 1-56.

"Two Chansons Rustiques ą 4 by Claudin de Sermisy and Clément Janequin," Journal of the American Musicological Society 34 (1981): 305-324.


Review of The Birth of Bebop by Scott DeVeaux, for Brightleaf: A Southern Review of Books (Spring 1999): 16-17.

Review of Allegorical Play in the Old French Motet: The Sacred and the Profane in Thirteenth-Century Polyphony by Sylvia Huot,  for Music and Letters 79 (1998): 584-5.

Review of Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life by Laurence Bergreen, for American Music 16 (1998): 234-6.

Review of John Coltrane: A Discography and Musical Biography by Yasuhiro Fujioka, et. al., Duke Ellington: Day by Day and Film by Film by Klaus Stratemann, and Sarah Vaughan: A Discography by Denis Brown for Fontes Artis Musicae 43 (1996): 305-6.

Review of Born for the Muses: The Life and Masses of Jacob Obrecht  by Rob C. Wegman, for Renaissance Quarterly 50 (1997): 652-3.

Review of Mensuration and Proportion Signs: Origins and Evolution by Anna Maria Busse Berger, for Renaissance Quarterly 48 (1995): 674-5.

Editorial Activities

Editorial board member for Black Music Research Journal beginning 2004

Editorial board member for Journal of the American Musicological Society, 1998-2001

Associate Editor for the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 1994-present

Academic advisor and editor the biographical encyclopedia Lives and Legacies: An Encyclopedia of People Who Changed the World, Oryx Press, 2001.  Advising for 65 entries for musicians.

Papers presented at professional meetings and public lectures:

“Who’s on First, What’s Second, and Where Did They Come From?: The Social-Musical Textures of Early Jazz,” paper to be read at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society, Washington D. C.,  October 2005; also to be read at “Early Twentieth-Century Brass Idioms: Art, Jazz and Other Popular Traditions,”  an International Symposium sponsored by the Historic Brass Society and the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers, University, November 2005.

“Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans,” read for conference entitled  “The Joy of Music,” sponsored by Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement,  April 11, 2005.

"’Crossing’ and ‘Passing’ in Musical New Orleans, ca. 1910,” paper read at the national meeting of the Society for American Music, March 1, 2003, Tempe Arizona; also read at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Nov. 21, 2003; at Davidson College, November 10, 2003.

“Louis Armstrong and the Tuxedo Brass Band, 1921,” paper read at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society, Atlanta Georgia, November 2001 (session organizer for this event); also read for a colloquium presentation at McGill University, Montreal, April 2001.

“Louis Armstrong, the ‘Saints’ and the ‘Boys,’” read at an international conference on Louis Armstrong, Milan Italy, October 2001.

“Flats and Chansons in MS Florence, B.N., P. 26 “ read (in my absence) at a conference on the fourteenth-century manuscript Chantilly 564, Tours, France, September 2001.

Invited speaker for the Louis Armstrong Centennial Conference, New Orleans, August 2001.

Invited speaker to a jazz society meeting in Morehead City, North Carolina, May 2001.

Symposium chair for “Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Age,” a day-long symposium that formed part of the Louis Armstrong Festival, March 2, 2001, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Session chair for “Articulating Ars subtilior,” session at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society, Toronto Canada, November 2000.

"Medée fu: An Anonymous Peak in the Grande Ballade Tradition," paper read for a colloquium at the University of Toronto, April 3, 1998.

"A Statistical Approach to the Musica Ficta Problem," paper read at a symposium in honor of Peter Williams, Duke University, March 23, 1998.

"Harmony as Social Signifier in African-American Music, ca. 1900-1950" paper read at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society, October 1997 in Phoenix.

"Accidentals in Binchois's Songs," paper read at the First International Conference on Gilles de Bins dit Binchois, Oct. 31, 1995 in New York City. 

"Causa Pulchritudinis: Musica Ficta and the Chanson, ca. 1275-1474," paper read at national meeting of the American Musicological Society, MontrŹal, Canada, November 4, 1993; also read at the Southeast Chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society, Chapel Hill, NC, Feb. 27, 1993

"Solo and Cycle in African-American Jazz," invited speaker for the 1993 National Conference on Black Music Research, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 30; also read at National Meeting of the Sonneck Society for American Music, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 1992; also read at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, October 1991.

"African-American Jazz, solo " paper read at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, February 1991.

"Modus  in Masses and Motets, ca. 1450-1475,"  paper read at the American Musicological Society conference, Austin Texas, October 1989.

Courses Taught at Duke University

Music 049, "Jazz and American Culture"

Music 142, "African-American Music in the Twentieth Century"

Music 140s, "Ascendancy of the Jazz Solo"

Music 155s, "Music History I: Antiquity through 1520"

Music 156s "Music History II: 1520-1750"

Music 226, “American Music ca. 1900”

Music 229, "Collegium Musicum"

Music 222, "Music in the Middle Ages"

Music 223, "Music in the Renaissance"

Music 317, "Jazz and African-American Culture"

MALS program (Summer 1995, Summer 1999, Spring 2001, Spring 2003,): "African-American Music in the Twentieth Century";  and (Spring 2005) “Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans”

Performances as conductor of Collegium Musicum, Duke University, Fall 1991-Fall 1993.

Fall 1993: November 22, in Duke Chapel, Missa Pange Lingua by Josquin Des Prez, chansons by Okeghem

Spring 1993:  March 31, in Lower Lobby of Mary Duke Biddle, "The Play of Robin and Marion," by Adam de la Halle, Chansons by Adam and by Claudin de Sermisy, motets and instrumental music from the 13th century and the early 16th century

Fall 1992: November 23, in Duke Chapel.  Missa Se la face ay pale by Du Fay, Chansons and keyboard arrangements by Du Fay, others, Reviewed by Carl Halperin, in Spectator, Dec. 3, 1992

Spring 1992: March 31, 1992 in Lower Lobby of Mary Duke Biddle Music Bld. Music by Monteverdi, Josquin, Du Fay

Fall 1991: Dec. 2, 1991 in Nelson Music Room, Duke Univ.; Dec. 13, 1991, for the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Group, Duke Univ. Missa L'homme armé by Antoine Busnoys, Chansons by Du Fay, Binchois, Motets by Dunstaple

Professional Affiliations

American Musicological Society
Center for Black Music Research
Society for American Music
College Music Society