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Brett Boutwell

Brett Boutwell

Associate Professor
William F. Swor Alumni Professor of Musicology

269 MDA
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504
P: (225)578-0499
F: (225)578-2562

Brett Nathan Boutwell is Associate Professor of Musicology and the William F. Swor Alumni Professor at LSU. He held a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University and earned a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois.

The recipient of an award for undergraduate instruction at LSU, Boutwell teaches a variety of courses in the field of music history in the School of Music, and he recently developed a non-major course titled American Popular Music for the university’s general education curriculum. His graduate-level courses include seminars on the history of American experimental music and on intersections between modernist visual art and musical composition in the twentieth century. He has directed M.M. theses and Ph.D. dissertations on a variety of musicological topics.

His scholarship principally concerns modernist classical and experimental music in the U.S. since World War II. He has a particular interest in two groups of musicians and artists: those of the New York School and those associated with the development of minimalism. His articles have appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Contemporary Music Review, American Music, Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. He has presented papers at meetings of the American Musicological Society, the International Conference on Music Since 1900, the Society for American Music, the Modernist Studies Association, and the International Conference on Music and Minimalism. A proponent of interdisciplinary scholarship, he has held affiliations with humanities research institutes at both Cornell University and the University of Illinois. Supported by grants, he has studied composers’ manuscripts and sketches at the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel), the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), and other archives.

He serves as a member of the Executive Council of the Southern Chapter of the American Musicological Society, as Book Review Editor of the journal American Music, and as a Faculty Senator at LSU.

His interests in American music encompass jazz and a variety of popular styles, including those of his adoptive home state of Louisiana. He has worked as a local consultant in Louisiana’s film and television industry, advising in the selection of period-appropriate music for historical settings, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the city’s blues heritage.

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