I like to think that, over the course of writing this dissertation, I have thanked every librarian who has answered my research questions, every scholar who has taken the time to respond to the inquisitive emails of a Ph.D. student they’ve never met before, every dissertation advisor who has generously read drafts of my work, and every colleague who has taken an interest in my studies. A special thanks to my advisor, Karl Hagstrom Miller, and good friend, Tim Booth. Their patience, curiosity, sympathy, and humor never seemed in short supply. All these individuals have contributed to making this a better document. However, over the last couple of years, I do not think I have thanked my parents enough. I have not thanked them for introducing me, as a child, to Paul Simon’s Graceland or for graciously driving me to school, letting me control the car stereo, and putting up with my decision to listen to Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue” on repeat. I have not thanked them enough for the piano lessons, and then drum lessons, and then steel drum lessons; I have not thanked my dad for his unwavering support in whatever I pursued, as long as I did it well; or thanked my mom for the experience of growing up and hearing her translating, into English, the Arabic lyrics of the music she grew up listening to in Lebanon. It is from these experiences that I learned I wanted to devote most of my life to explaining music to other people. This dissertation is a culmination of that effort. I owe it to my parents.

Click to anywhere to proceed