photo: boutwellBrett Boutwell 

Associate Professor
William F. Swor Alumni Professor of Musicology

269 MDA
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504

P: (225) 578-0499
F: (225) 578-2562

Brett Nathan Boutwell is Associate Professor of Musicology and the William F. Swor Alumni Professor at LSU. He was a Mellon fellow at Cornell University and earned a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois.

The recipient of an award for undergraduate instruction at LSU, Boutwell teaches courses on a variety of topics in music history. These courses include American Popular Music (MUS 1600), which he developed for the university’s general-education arts curriculum. His graduate-level teaching in the School of Music includes seminars on the history of American experimental music and on parallels between modernist visual art and musical composition in the twentieth century. His doctoral advisees in musicology are the recipients of grants and prizes from the Institute for International Education, the Southern Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and LSU. 

His research concerns modernist and experimental music since 1945. He has a particular interest in two groups of musicians and artists, those of the New York School and those associated with the development of minimalism. His articles have appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music, Contemporary Music Review, American Music, Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, and the Grove Dictionary of American Music. He has held affiliations with interdisciplinary research institutes at both Cornell University and the University of Illinois. Supported by grants, he has studied composers’ manuscripts and sketches at the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel), the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), and other archives. 

He serves as President-Elect of the Southern Chapter of the American Musicological Society and will act as co-chair of local arrangements for the 2019 national meeting of the Society for American Music in New Orleans. He is a Faculty Senator at LSU.

His interests in American music encompass jazz and a variety of popular styles, especially those of Louisiana. He has worked as a local consultant in Louisiana’s film and television industry, advising in the selection of period-appropriate music for historical settings, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the city’s blues heritage.

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