Morgan Rich


Morgan Rich

Ph.D. (Historical Musicology), M.M. (Musicology) B.S. (Music History and Literature)

I am thrilled to serve at East Carolina University as a Teaching Assistant Professor of Musicology. My research focuses on the intersection of music, culture, philosophy, and analysis. Exploring music and philosophy in early twentieth century Austro-Germany, particularly composers of the Second Viennese School (Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, and Anton Webern) and the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno, I examine the influence of these, and other, music-compositional systems on Adorno’s negative dialectics and cultural criticism. Interested in cultural critiques of ideologies, archival research has shown how Adorno’s interaction with these composers and their musics made its way into broader social, political, and cultural critiques of American and European societies as they emerged from World War II. Since 2009 I have regularly conducted archival research in Germany and Austria. During the 2017–2018 academic year I was awarded a Volkswagen Stiftung and Andrew Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities to work at State Institute for Music Research, Berlin.

Furthering my interest in contemporary music, a recent research project examines the musical metaphors of nature in Finish composer Kaija Saariaho’s works. In addition, I am studying the timbral and spatial architecture in Rebecca Saunders’ concerted works.

I have been teaching academic courses on music’s role in European cultural history since 2008. I develop courses that center around inclusive, diverse, and accessible learning environments. Courses link musical styles, genres, and artists to their places by connecting music to the architecture, artworks, public discourse, and funding mechanisms that create the cultural networks throughout Europe.

Before joining ECU, I was the Assistant Director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida and have taught courses in music history, cultural studies, and general humanities at the University of Florida, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Cape Cod Community College. Additionally, I served as a Research Ambassador for DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, German Academic Exchange Service) from 2022–2024.

Recent publications:

  1. Rich, Morgan. “Theodor Adorno’s Musical Monographs: Challenging the Genre and Creating Historical Narratives” in Music Criticism 1900–1950, edited by Jordi Ballester and Gérman Gan Quesada, Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018.
  2. Rich, Morgan. “Arnold Schoenberg’s Piano Suite, op. 25” in A-R Online Music Anthology, 2018.