Peter Graff

Peter Graff

Visiting Assistant Professor - Musicology
Position Type
- Present
He / Him / His

Peter Graff is a scholar of music and American popular culture of the nineteenth century to today. He holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Case Western Reserve University (2018) and joined the Denison University faculty in 2019. At Denison, he teaches a broad range of courses that build upon his scholarship and research interests, including courses on race and ethnicity, rock ‘n’ roll, country music, hip-hop, film music, and Broadway musicals.

Graff’s current book project, Ethnic Theater in Cleveland: Music, Politics, and Memory is under contract with the University of Illinois Press and examines how ethnic and immigrant groups used music and the theater to navigate issues of identity in the 1910s and 1920s. Recent publications include “Navigating Black Identity and White Desire: Seven-Eleven and the 1920s Crossover Musical Comedy” (American Music, 2022), and “Themes, Backgrounds, Bridges, and Curtains: A New Musical Language for American Radio Dramas, 1930–1950,” in Word Sound and Music in Radio Drama (Brill, 2023). In addition to his current monograph, he is in the early research stages on a subsequent project that explores the tensions between New York’s gay underground spaces and the musical mainstream during the 1980s.

B.M., Concordia College; M.A., Penn State University; Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Learning & Teaching

  • Introduction to Country Music (MUS 103)
  • Introduction to World Music (MUS 103)
  • Introduction to Rock Music (MUS 103)
  • History of American Folk & Country Music (MUS 230)
  • History of Rock Music (MUS 239/339)
  • Music, Race, & Identity (MUS 247)
  • Hip-Hop Music & Culture (MUS 248)
  • Music, Society, & Identity (MUS 250)
  • Popular Musical Theater in America (MUS 215/315)
  • Film Music & Sound (MUS 331)
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