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(M. Starowieyska/Muzeum POLIN)

Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

Andrea F. Bohlman (Associate Professor) studies the political stakes of music making and sound in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In her work on the cultural history of music, migration and war, sound and media studies, and social movements she is interested in the methodological challenges posed by the study of the recent past and committed to weaving together archival work and ethnomusicological methods. She is deeply invested in exploring the diverse musics that permeate musical cultures past and present, whether these are popular, sacred, art, or experimental. 

Much of Bohlman’s work builds on her expertise on music in East Central Europe and on sound and protest. Her monograph, Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland (Oxford University Press, 2020) grows out of a decade of research on work of sound and music for the opposition to state socialism in Poland. A 2016 article on sound, historiography, and protest (“Song, Solidarity, and the Sound Document,” Journal of Musicology) was distinguished with the Alfred Einstein Award of the American Musicological Society for the best article by a scholar in the early stages of their career. Bohlman has also published extensively on migration, song, and musical nationalism in articles on the composers Hanns Eisler and Witold Lutosławski, the Eurovision Song Contest, and the Crimean War. 

Recent research and publications weave ethnographic and feminist/queer approaches to sound recording technologies, politics, and the everyday. She has written on mixtapes, soundwalks, and flash mobs. Conversations with composers Annea Lockwood and Joan La Barbara have anchored recent essays on work, sound, and care. In 2017, she co-edited a special issue of Twentieth-Century Music with Peter McMurray on tape and tape recording. Her current book research explores the history of field recording and the idea (and practice) of consent. The book, provisionally entitled Magnetic Fields: Tape and the Sounding of Consent, connects spools of tape made for academic research, grassroots archives, and soundscape composition—encompassing tape recording during and for war, tape recording to make social and political change, and tape recording at home. Another project that grows out of Bohlman’s interest in sound and media is a study of the flexidisc in Eastern Europe, where it provides a window on amateur media fluencies, alternative economies, and on the gendered politics of sound media circulation and storage. 

Bohlman is currently the executive editor of the online publication of the American Musicological Society, Musicology Now. 

Bohlman holds a B.A. from Stanford University, and an MMus from Royal Holloway, University of London. She earned her doctorate at Harvard University in 2012 after which she spent a year as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Musicological Society (AMS50), and a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. She was honored to be a 2020 recipient of UNC’s Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. 

During the 2021–22 academic year she was Edward T. Cone Member in Music in the School of Historical Studies at Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study. She was previously EURIAS Junior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin) and Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. 

Bohlman is affiliated faculty at the Center for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She is eager to work with and advise graduate students; read more about her teaching by clicking on the tab above. 


Magnetic Fields: Tape and the Sounding of Consent (in preparation). 

Musical Solidarities: Political Action and Music in Late Twentieth-Century Poland. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. 

Co-editor, with Peter McMurray, of Twentieth-Century Music 14, no. 1. Special Issue on Tape and Tape Recording (2017). 

Hanns Eisler (1898–1962): “In der Musik ist es anders,” with Philip V. Bohlman. Jüdische Miniaturen, Stiftung Neue Synagoge, Centrum Judaicum Berlin. Berlin: Hentrich & Hentrich, 2012. 

Selected Articles 

“Next Time Won’t You Sign With Me: Joan La Barbara on Sesame Street.” Tempo (2022), 50–60. 

“Electronic Music, Sampling, and the Tape Snippet: How the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio Made Itself Useful,” Contemporary Music Review 39, No. 6 (2020), 708–32. 

“Overwriting Sound: Polish Commemoration in Concert.” In Performing Commemoration: Musical Reenactment and the Politics of Trauma, edited by Annegret Fauser and Michael A. Figueroa, 193–218. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2020. 

“Friend and Force: Nadia Boulanger in Polish Musical Culture,” with J. Mackenzie Pierce. In Nadia Boulanger and Her World, edited by Jeanice Brooks, 229–53. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. 

“Orienting the Martial: Mobility and the Nineteenth-Century Legion Song.” In Sound and the Crimean War, edited by Gavin Williams, 105–28. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 

“Das Radio als Wunder—Das Radio im Alltag.” In Radiophonic Culture, edited by Ute Holl, 279–85. Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag, 2018. 

“Lutosławski’s Political Refrains.” In Lutosławski’s Worlds, edited by Lisa Jakelski and Nicholas Reyland, 273–300. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell and Brewer, 2018. 

“Resounding the Campus: Pedagogy, Race, and the Environment,” with Amanda Black. Journal of Music History Pedagogy 8, No. 1 (2017), 6–27. 

“Making Tapes in Poland: The Compact Cassette at Home.” Twentieth-Century Music 14, No. 1 (2017), 119–34. 

“Tape: Or, Rewinding the Phonographic Regime,” with Peter McMurray. Twentieth-Century Music 14, No. 1 (2017), 3–24. 

“Solidarity, Song, and the Sound Document.” Journal of Musicology 33, No. 2 (2016), 232–69. 

“Eisler on the Move: Situating Mobility in the Reisesonate,” with Florian Scheding. Music & Letters 96, No. 1 (2015), 77–98. 

“‘Where I Cannot Roam, My Song Will Take Wing’: Polish Cultural Promotion in Belarus, 1988.” In Music and International History, edited by Jessica C.E. Gienow-Hecht, 226–55. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015. 

“Doing the European Two-Step,” with Alexander Rehding. In Singing Europe: Spectacle and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, edited by Dafni Tragaki, 281–97. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2013. 

“‘Eurovision Everywhere’: A Kaleidoscopic Vision of the Grand Prix,” with Ioannis Polychronakis. In Singing Europe: Spectacle and Politics in the Eurovision Song Contest, edited by Dafni Tragaki, 57–77. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2013. 

Selected Other Publications (Textbook Chapters, Encyclopedia Entries) 

“How Does A Boycott Sound?” In The Oxford Handbook of Music and Protest, edited by Eric Drott and Noriko Manabe. New York: Oxford University Press. Under review. 

“Music and Europe.” Textbook chapter in Excursions in World Music, edited by Timothy Rommen, 288–321. 8th Edition. New York: Routledge, 2021. 

“Communication, Technology, Media.” Textbook chapter in Critical Themes in World Music: A Reader for Excursions in World Music, Eighth Edition, edited by Timothy Rommen, 61–70. New York: Routledge, 2021. 

“Classical Music in Poland.” In COURAGE: Handbook to the Cultural Opposition, edited by Sándor Horváth, 293–98. Bratislava: Comenius University, 2019. 

“Poland: Contemporary Performance Practice,” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Ethnomusicology, ed. Janet Sturman (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2020). 

“Penderecki, Krzysztof.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Music. Ed. Bruce Gustafson. New York: Oxford University Press, 25 Feb. 2016. 


I teach a variety of undergraduate courses that invite non-majors and majors alike to engage intensely with listening as a way of learning and knowing. In my lecture courses as well as in smaller classes, I cultivate a lot of in-class discussion and collaborative activities. Across my courses, I invite students to create: I frequently collaborate with Carolina Performing Arts and colleagues in music to bring performers into the classroom and the classroom to performance. 

If you are interested in meeting to discuss an independent research project or to learn more about the academic study of sound and music, please email me to make an appointment and share with me what interests you. 

2022–23: Foundations in Music (MUSC 120-FYL); Musical Movements: Music and Migration (MUSC 258) 

Recent courses: Music History Since 1750 (MUSC 255), Music and Politics (MUSC 291), Music and Migration (MUSC 258), Magnetic Tape: History, Culture, Practice (MUSC 355), Sound and Gender (MUSC 286) 

Graduate teaching and advising

Around the graduate seminar table, my courses build upon collective reading projects—either in a special topic or theoretical debate—toward substantial original research as well as opportunities for professional development (e.g. in the digital humanities, undergraduate pedagogy, and grant writing in recent courses). 

I advise diverse dissertation projects, many of which move among the methodologies of music studies’ traditional sub-disciplines. If you are a prospective graduate student interested in working with me, I welcome email contact and would ask you to describe your research interests and motivations in that contact. Current PhD advisees: Justin Frankeny, Aldwyn Hogg, Jr., Grace Kweon, Stella Zhizhi Li. Former advisee: Joanna Helms (2020). 

Recent seminar topics: Dissertation Colloquium; Sound and/as Rupture; The Work and Power of Tape; Resources and Methods of Musicology (MUSC 750); Cold War Music?: Political Action and Musical Life in East Central Europe; Sound Studies’ Music History; Music, Sound, Territory