William Cheng

Assistant Professor of Music

New book release: Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (University of Michigan Press, 2016, foreword by Susan McClary), recipient of the 2016 AMS Philip Brett Award and named by the Times Higher Education as a 2016 Book of the Year. See author interview with Junction Magazine here (2 September 2016).

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William Cheng is Assistant Professor of Music at Dartmouth College. He's the author of two books, Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good  (University of Michigan Press, 2016, foreword by Susan McClary) and Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014, foreword by Richard Leppert), and articles in journals including Critical Inquiry, Journal of the Society for American Music,19th-Century Music, Cambridge Opera Journal, Ethnomusicology, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society. He is the recipient of the AMS Philip Brett Award, AMS Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship, and SAM Mark Tucker Award. Forthcoming books include Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press, ed. with Greg Barz), All the Beautiful Musicians (Oxford University Press), and Touching Pitch: Dirt, Debt, Color (University of Michigan Press). He was a 2015 Dartmouth Public Voices Fellow and has published articles in Huffington Post, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, Slate, Musicology Now, RYOT, and Pacific Standard. He serves on the Editorial Board of Music & the Moving Image, the Advisory Board of Ethnomusicology Review, and the Review Board of Sensate: A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice. In past years, he has enjoyed giving classical piano recitals featuring improvisations on themes from the audience.

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64 Hopkins, Music
HB 6187
Department(s): 
Music
Education: 
B.A. - Stanford University (Music, English) with Distinction and Honors, 2007
M.A. - Harvard University (Music), 2009
Ph.D. - Harvard University (Music), 2013
Post-doc - Harvard Society of Fellows, 2012-16

Selected Publications

Monographs

Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014). Foreword by Richard Leppert

Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (University of Michigan Press, 2016). Foreword by Susan McClary.

All the Beautiful Musicians (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Touching Pitch: Dirt, Debt, Color (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming)

 

Edited Volumes

Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press, ed. with Greg Barz)

 

Articles

"Taking Back the Laugh: Funny Fails, Comedic Alibis," Critical Inquiry (forthcoming 2017)

"Staging Overcoming," Journal of the Society for American Music (forthcoming 2017)

"Forty-Nine Fewer," Ethnomusicology Review (2016)

"Toadofsky's Music Lessons," Music Video Games (2016)

Review for Journal of the American Musicological Society 67:1 (2014), 257–66, of Jonathan Sterne, ed., The Sound Studies Reader (Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2012), and Trevor Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

“Acoustemologies of the Closet.” In The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality, ed. Mark Grimshaw (Oxford University Press, 2014), 337–48.

“Monstrous Noise: Silent Hill and the Aesthetic Economies of Fear.” In The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media, ed. Carol Vernallis, John Richardson, and Amy Herzog (Oxford University Press, 2013), 173–90.

“Pleasure’s Discontents.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 66:3 (2013), 840–44.

“Role-Playing toward a Virtual Musical Democracy in The Lord of the Rings Online.” Ethnomusicology 56:1 (2012), 31–62. 

“Opera en abyme: The Prodigious Ritual of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt.” Cambridge Opera Journal 22:2 (2011), 115–46. 

“Hearts for Sale: The French Romance and the Sexual Traffic of Musical Mimicry.” 19th-Century Music 35:1 (2011), 34–71.