You are here

Mark Rodgers (he/him)

Assistant Teaching Professor, Music History
Music History faculty Mark Rodgers

Contact Information

MUS 202
Office Hours: 
By appointment
Area of Study: 


Ph.D., Music History, Yale University, 2018
M.A. and M.Phil., Music History, Yale University, 2015
M.St. Music (Musicology), University of Oxford, 2012
B.A., Music and Comparative Literature, University of California Berkeley, 2011

I earned my PhD at Yale University in 2018 with a dissertation titled "Renaissance Formalisms in the Cultural Archive of Tonality." I also hold degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oxford. Before arriving at the University of Washington in 2019, I held a faculty appointment at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

I am an innovative, versatile, and award-winning teacher with special passions for creative course design, hands-on learning experiences, and inclusive classroom environments. I teach the popular course MUSIC 185: The Concert Season, working with Meany Center and off-campus partners to introduce students to classical music and jazz through concert attendance, lectures, and a podcast series. I also regularly teach our conventional music appreciation survey, MUSIC 120. Within the School of Music, I teach the Medieval-Renaissance survey for music majors, the research methods seminar for incoming graduate students, and advanced courses on special topics.

As a researcher, I focus on three areas: Renaissance music; labor; and birdsong. At present I am preparing two articles based on research I undertook for my doctoral dissertation: one will highlight a group of madrigals that complicates modern definitions of the genre; the other will identify a subtle but consequential shift in the use of improvisatory formulas around 1600. My forthcoming article “Joseph Kerman, the Catholic Interpretation of Byrd, and the New Musicology” connects musicologist Joseph Kerman's groundbreaking work on William Byrd's Latin-texted sacred music with the development of his influential ideas about "criticism."

In collaboration with the Labor Archives of Washington, I organize the oral history project Musical Work in the Time of COVID-19, which includes interviews conducted by students in my Music and Labor course at the School of Music. Some of those interviews are publicly accessible here. The project is ongoing, and we welcome inquiries from working musicians and music teachers who would like to share their experiences by sitting for interviews. My work in this area focuses on the changing conditions of musical labor since the 1970s.

I teach an interdisciplinary course of my own design, Music, Birdsong, and the Limits of the Human, in the Honors Program, and I also offer a version of this course in the School of Music.  My teaching and research on birdsong are informed by my experiences as an amateur birder. My work in this area makes an ecological case for celebrating birdsong’s musicality without ignoring important historical, cultural, and biological distinctions between human and avian song.


Courses Taught

News & Press