Music Department

Mark BurfordMark Burford

R.P. Wollenberg Professor of Music  

B.A., Music, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1994
M.A., Historical Musicology, Columbia University, 1999
Ph.D., Historical Musicology, Columbia University, 2005 

Music history, nineteenth-century music, twentieth-century American popular music, African American music.

Mark Burford is R. P. Wollenberg Professor of Music at Reed College. A music historian, his scholarship and teaching focus on twentieth-century African American music and long-nineteenth-century European concert music. His published writing for both academic and general audiences includes articles on Johannes Brahms, Alvin Ailey, gospel music, and opera, and his article “Sam Cooke as Pop Album Artist—A Reinvention in Three Songs” received the Society for American Music’s 2012 Irving Lowens Award for the outstanding article on American music. He is the editor of The Mahalia Jackson Reader and author of Mahalia Jackson and the Black Gospel Field, which in 2019 received the American Musicological Society’s Otto Kinkeldey Award for the outstanding book in musicology by a senior scholar. In 2022, he was awarded the Dent Medal by the Royal Musical Association for outstanding contribution to the field of musicology. His current research project is a book on W. E. B. Du Bois and music, focusing on coverage of music in the NAACP magazine The Crisis during Du Bois’s twenty-three-year editorship.