A Conversation with Deane Root

Our guest for this episode of the Music at Pitt Podcast is Deane Root, the music department’s newest Professor, Emeritus. Deane recently retired from more jobs than most of us hold in a lifetime, including being the Director of the Center for American Music, the Fletcher Hodges, Jr. Curator for the Center for American Music, and Professor of Musicology for Pitt’s Department of Music where he served multiple terms as Chair. For his “retirement” project he continues to serve as the Editor in Chief of Grove Music Online, the successor to the ubiquitous New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Deane’s accomplishments throughout his career are so voluminous that it would take the entire episode to list them, but a few highlights include serving as President of the Society of American Music and helping to found the journal American Music, creating an educator’s guide to historic American song titled Voices Across Time, appearing on PBS documentaries on Stephen Foster and Antonin Dvorak, and consulting on numerous other documentary films on American Musical Theater. The list literally goes on and on.

In Part 1 of our interview with Deane Root we discuss how the pandemic has changed how we approach music education and trends in American Music scholarship.

In Part 2 of our interview with Deane Root, we discuss the power of community, from coping with the trauma of the Tree of Life shooting to creating a more inclusive environment for music scholarship.