University of Pittsburgh

Deane L. Root

Portrait
Professor of Music
Director, Center for American Music
Fletcher Hodges, Jr. Curator, Center for American Music
Editor in Chief, Grove Music
Director of Graduate Studies
PhD, University of Illinois, 1977
Office: 
205 Music Building
Phone: 
412-624-7775
dlr [at] pitt [dot] edu

Fields

American Music, Music in Culture, Popular Music, American Musical Theater, Bibliography.

Profile

My research has been devoted primarily to making source materials accessible and opening new areas to scholarship within American music history.  I have published on 19th-century popular music and musical theater, research resources throughout American history, and using iconic songs in K-12 education.  As a staff editor for The New Grove Dictionary I helped introduce popular music to its coverage.  My monograph on American Popular Stage Music 1860-1880 was the first musicological study of 19th-century musical theater in the United States, and my 1994 Garland Publishing series offered scholarly editions of 48 representative works, including full scripts and music. 

The Center for American Music, part of the University Library System, is the world repository for music, recordings, and research on Stephen Foster, America’s first professional songwriter.  My projects there include a scholarly symposium and special issue of the journal American Music devoted to Foster, and the educators’ guide to historic American song, Voices Across Time.

As Editor in Chief of Grove Music Online (Oxford University Press), the successor to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, I have helped guide its transition from a print to an online reference work through a program to update the articles on a regular cycle, expand coverage to areas of emerging research, incorporate multimedia content, and work more closely with area experts and scholarly societies.

My service to scholarly and cultural non-profits focuses particularly on expanding capacity and strengthening planning.

Recent courses

  • Music in society (graduate and undergraduate)
  • American music history (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Senior seminar (undergraduate music majors), on current popular song
  • Musicology proseminar (graduate)
  • Musicology seminar (graduate) - recent topics have included Issues in Earlier American Popular Music Studies and The Formation of Musical Institutions in 19th-century America

Selected Publications

“Toward a History of the 19th-Century American Orchestra,” introductory essay, American Orchestras in the 19th Century, ed. John Spitzer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012)

“Performing Foster,” chapter 12 in Music, American Made: Essays in Honor of John Graziano, ed. John Koegel (Sterling Heights, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2011)

Emily’s Songbook: Popular Music in 1850s Albany, co-edited with Mark Slobin, Katherine Preston, Jim Kimball (Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 2011)

“The Music of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” in Uncle Tom’s Cabin & American Culture: A Multi-Media Archive, dir. Stephen Railton, University of Virginia (June 2007)

“The Myth-Story of Stephen C. Foster, or Why His True Story Remains Untold,” American Music Research Center Journal 15 (2005) 1-18 (revised from 1 (1991) 20-36)

Voices Across Time: American History Through Music, project director and author with Susan K. Donley, Kathryn Miller Haines, and Mariana S. Whitmer (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2004; rev. 2, 2006)

“Forgery in the Music Library: A Cautionary Tale,” with [other authors], in Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 60:4 (2004) 865-892

Nineteenth-Century American Musical Theater, 16 volumes, series editor (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994)

"The Stephen Foster–Antonin Dvorak Connection," in Dvorak in America, ed. John C. Tibbetts (Portland OR: Amadeus Press, 1993)

The Music of Stephen C. Foster: A Critical Edition, edited with Stephen Saunders (Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990)

Music of American Theater, editor, special issue of American Music journal, II/4 (1984)

The Music of Florida Historic Sites (Tallahassee: The Florida State University School of Music, 1983)

American Popular Stage Music 1860-1880.  (Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1981/1983)

Resources of American Music History, with D.W. Krummel, Jean Geil, and Doris J. Dyen (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1981)

"The Pan American Association of Composers (1928-1934)," Yearbook for Inter-American Music Research, 8 (1972) 49-70

Selected Papers

Keynote address, Stephen Foster Symposium, Ritsumeikan University, Tokyo, Japan, December 7, 2013

“The Sonic Century of Susan B. Anthony,” University of Rochester, NY, March 21, 2013

“The Historiography of 19th-Century American Orchestras,” The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, November 30, 2010

“Voices Across Time: The Impact of Women During the American Revolutionary Era,” National Council for History Education, Pittsburgh, April 22, 2005

”Discovering American History through Music,” keynote address, Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies annual meeting, Allentown, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2002

“Strategies of Community Building in Stephen Foster’s Songs,” keynote address, National Conference on Music of the Civil War Era, Shepherd College, West Virginia, April 13, 2002

"Voices Across Time, a Model Education Project for a Scholarly Society," American Council of Learned Societies, Denver, Colorado, November 1998

"Stephen Collins Foster: Man and Myth," American Studies Association, Pittsburgh, November 1995

"American Songs and Songwriters of the Civil War Era," Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Great Performers Series, October 26, 1994

"Politics and Myth in the Case of Stephen Foster," Sonneck Society annual meeting, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March, 1992

"Archival Resources in the Music Library: Realia and Memorabilia," Music Library Association, Minneapolis, 1988

"Music of the American Theatre," American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1985

"Music of Florida Historic Sites," Sonneck Society, Tallahassee, Florida, 1985

"The Black Crook and the Role of Music in 19th-Century American Spectacle," American Musicological Society, Washington, 1976

Activities

Project Director for Voices Across Time, 1995– , an educational resource allowing secondary-school teachers of social studies and language arts to use music effectively in their classrooms

President, Sonneck Society for American Music, 1989-93

Delegate of the Sonneck Society for American Music to the American Council of Learned Societies, 1996-99

President, Calliope–The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society, 2012–

President, Gateway to the Arts in Pittsburgh, 2000-2003

President, Greater Pittsburgh Museum Council, 1987-89

President, Friends of the Music Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 1994-97

National Endowment for the Humanities peer review panels, 1990–

Member, American Antiquarian Society, 2004–

Alternate representative of the American Musicological Society to the National Recording Preservation Board, 2001-2006

Co-director, NEH Summer Teaching Institute: Voices Across Time: Teaching American History Through Music, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013

Consultant on numerous documentary films on American musical theater, Stephen Foster, and other American topics

Appeared on PBS documentaries on Stephen Foster and Antonin Dvorak

Society for American Music, Distinguished Service Citation, 2000

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