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Joshua Walden


Joshua WaldenJoshua Walden earned his PhD with Distinction at Columbia University and has held a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton College, University of Oxford, and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. His research explores subjects including musical representations of ethnic and national identities in the 20th century; music and visual arts; film music; Jewish music; and musical postmodernism. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for the 2014 article “The ‘Yidishe Paganini’: Sholem Aleichem’s Stempenyu, the Music of Yiddish Theatre, and the Character of the Shtetl Fiddler.” He is currently completing a book manuscript on the genre of musical portraiture in the twentieth century, Musical Portraits: The Composition of Identity in Contemporary and Experimental Music, under contract with Oxford University Press.

Walden’s book Sounding Authentic: The Rural Miniature and Musical Modernism was published in the AMS Studies in Music series of Oxford University Press in 2014. The book has been awarded the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Research on Classical Music: Discography. He is the editor of two volumes for Cambridge University Press, Representation in Western Music (2013; paperback 2015) and The Cambridge Companion to Jewish Music (2015). His articles have appeared in periodicals including Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society of American Music, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and Musical Quarterly. He has been awarded research grants from the American Musicological Society, the British Library Sound Archive, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and the British Academy. As a violinist, he has performed in venues in New York City, Oxford, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Walden is affiliated faculty member in the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Program in Jewish Studies. He is Chair of the Jewish Studies and Music Study Group of the American Musicological Society. Follow on Twitter, @JSMStudyGroup.


Courses taught at Peabody and Johns Hopkins:

Music History 4: Music in the Twentieth Century; Music and the Visual Arts since 1900; ​6 Operas by Mozart; Opera, Nation, and the Exotic; Modern and Contemporary Opera; Jewish Music; Musicology Colloquium



Sounding Authentic: The Rural Miniature and Musical Modernism, Oxford University Press, AMS Studies in Music series, 2014. Published with the support of the Claire and Barry Brook Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Reviewed in Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music and Letters, and Choice. Winner, Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Research on Classical Music: Discography.

Editor, The Cambridge Companion to Jewish Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015). 

Editor, Representation in Western Music (Cambridge University Press, 2013; paperback, 2015). Reviewed in Popular Music and SocietyMAKE Magazine, and Choice

Selected Articles

Forthcoming: “‘Novelty, Wit and an Abundance of Ideas’: The Mid-Eighteenth-Century German Instrumental Cadenza as Interpretation,” Ad Parnassum 14.27 (April 2016).

“‘He Will Knock Four Times’: Fate and the Timey-Wimey Echoes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in Doctor Who.” Science Fiction Film and Television 9.2 (Summer 2016): 181-207.

“‘The Beat Beat Beat of the Tom-Tom’: Cole Porter and the Exotic,” in A Cole Porter Companion, ed. Don Randel, Matthew Shaftel, and Susan Weiss (University of Illinois Press, 2016).

“Molly Picon: Darling of Second Avenue,” in From the Bowery to Broadway: New York's Yiddish Theater, ed. Edna Nahshon (Columbia University Press, 2016).

“Introduction” and “Jewish Music and Media of Sound Reproduction,” in The Cambridge Companion to Jewish Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

“‘Driven from Their Home’: Jewish Displacement and Musical Memory in the 1948 Movie Long Is the Road,” in Dislocated Memories: Jews, Music, and Postwar German Culture, ed. Tina Frühauf and Lily Hirsch (Oxford University Press, 2014). Book was winner of the Ruth A. Solie Award for an edited volume of exceptional merit from the American Musicological Society.

“‘Olden Melodies Return’: Memory in Joseph Achron’s ‘Hebrew Melody,’” in The Impact of Nazism on Twentieth-Century Music, ed. Erik Levi (Böhlau, 2014), 45-59.

“The ‘Yidishe Paganini’: Sholem Aleichem’s Stempenyu, the Music of Yiddish Theatre, and the Character of the Shtetl Fiddler,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 139.1 (2014): 89-136. Winner, ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award.

“Introduction” and “Representation and Musical Portraiture in the Twentieth Century,” in Representation in Western Music (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

“‘An Essential Expression of the People’: Interpretations of Hasidic Song in the Composition and Performance History of Ernest Bloch’s Baal Shem,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 65.3 (Autumn 2012): 777-820.

“‘The Hora Staccato in Swing!’: Jascha Heifetz’s Musical Eclecticism and the Adaptation of Violin Miniatures,” Journal of the Society for American Music 6.4 (November 2012): 405-31. [PDF]

“‘On the String in the Peasant Style’: Performance Style in Early Recordings of Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances,” in Performers’ Voices Across Centuries, Cultures, and Disciplines, ed. Ann Marshman (Imperial College Press, 2011).

“Recent Research on Musical Performance and Sound Recording,” Musica Humana 2.1 (Spring 2010): 89-98.

“Leaving Kazimierz: Comedy and Realism in the Yiddish Film Musical Yidl Mitn Fidl,” Journal of Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 3.2 (Autumn 2009): 159-93.

“Music of the ‘Folks-Neshome’: ‘Hebrew Melody’ and Changing Musical Representations of Jewish Culture in the Early Twentieth Century Ashkenazi Diaspora,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 8.2 (July 2009): 151-72.

“Composing Character in Musical Portraits: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and L’Aly Rupalich,” Musical Quarterly 91.2 (Fall-Winter 2008): 379-411.

“Lip-sync in Lipstick: 1950s Popular Songs in a Television Series by Dennis Potter,” Journal of Musicological Research 27.2 (April 2008): 169-95.

“Performing the Rural: Sonic Signifiers in Early Twentieth-Century Violin Playing.” In Before and After Music, ed. Lina Navickaitė-Martinelli (Vilnius/Helsinki: Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Umweb, International Semiotics Institute, 2010), 421-31.

“What’s in a Name?: C.P.E. Bach and the Genres of the Character Piece and Musical Portrait,” in Genre in Eighteenth-Century Music, ed. Anthony DelDonna (Steglein, 2008).

Blog Posts

“What is Jewish Music?” on FifteenEightyFour: Academic Perspectives from Cambridge University Press

“‘Eili, Eili’ as a ‘Traditional Yiddish Melody,’” on Musicology Now, blog of the American Musicological Society


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