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Mark Clague


Associate Professor of Musicology

Faculty Associate, American Culture Program, Afro-American Studies & Non-Profit Management

Mark Clague studies all forms of music-making in the United States, especially in Chicago, focusing on the functional aesthetic of music and the relationship between music and society. He serves as Executive Editor for Music of the United States of America (MUSA), a scholarly series of critical scores representing the diversity and excellence of composition in the United States. He has presented papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Center for Black Music Research, and Feminism and Music Theory. His articles appear in the Black Music Research Journal, International Dictionary of Black Composers, and the Encyclopedia of Chicago History. His awards include a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. He was a bassoonist with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and a substitute performer with the Chicago Symphony. Mr. Clague, who joined the Michigan faculty in 1997, received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago. He will receive his Ph.D. in June 2002 with a dissertation entitled: Making Music, Building Culture: Chicago’s Auditorium Theater and the Civic Imagination, 1885–1929.”

Interests and Current Research

19th-century American Musical Institutions, City Culture (especially Chicago), Occasional Music, Film Music (especially Copland), Sociology of Music, Alton Adams, African-American Music, Critical Editions and Identity, Web-based Enhancements to Classroom Teaching.


University of Chicago

Ph.D. in Historical Musicology

Dissertation Title: “Making Music, Building Culture, Thinking City: Chicago’s Auditorium Theater and the social engineering of American culture”

Committee: Philip Bohlman (chair), Richard Crawford, Samuel Floyd, Christian Kaden, Lawrence Zbikowski

Dissertation Abstract: My dissertation investigates the social functions of music in Chicago through a detailed study of cultural performance in the Auditorium Theater (1889–present). Designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, the building has served a variety of cultural identities since its beginnings as the city’s most prestigious opera house: Adelina Patti, Theodore Roosevelt, Pastor Frank Gunsaulus, John Philip Sousa, Florence Price, Van Cliburn, and Jimi Hendrix have graced its stage. Using evidence from musical scores, musical repertory, architectural design, journalistic accounts, personal diaries, and literary representations, my analysis focuses on the manner in which music and the Auditorium have served as sites of negotiation regarding issues of race, gender, and class in Chicago society.

M.A., August 1995, (with honors)

Master’s Papers: “The Funerary Motets of Josquin” and “Adorno on Jazz”

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

CIC Visiting Student Program, fall semester 1996

University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

1 year Master’s work in bassoon performance, 1990–91

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor and Florence, Italy)

B.M.: Bassoon Performance 1990

Artist and Scholar Honors Program–Summa Cum Laude

A.B.: Art History 1990, Honors College

Music Academy of the West 1989, 1991 sessions

Editorial Experience

Executive Editor of Music of the United States of America (MUSA) 1997–

Research Coordinator and List Editor, Center for Black Music Research International Dictionary of Black Composers Project 1996

Editorial Assistant, Center for Black Music Research International Dictionary of Black Composers Project 1994–96

Music Editor, USC student newspaper 1990–91


American Musicological Society

Society for American Music

Society for Ethnomusicology

College Music Society

Service to the Field

Local Arrangements Committee, Co-Chair, Society for Ethnomusicology 46th Annual Meeting, 2001

Nominating Committee, Society for American Music, 2001–3

Symposium Organizer, The Web of Learning: Instructional Technology @ the U of M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 8 May 2001

Program Committee, Society for American Music, 2001 Conference in Trinidad

Website Manager, AMS Midwest Chapter, 2000–,

Local Arrangements Committee, AMS Midwest Chapter, 2000

Judge, Mu Phi Symphonia, musicology competition, 2000

Faculty Coordinator and Founder, American Music Study Group, U of M 1999–

Moderator, William Albright Memorial Symposium, Univ. of Michigan 1998

Archivist Search Committee, U of M 1998

Workshop Coordinator, University of Chicago 1994–96

Advisory Member, Civic Orchestra Task Force 1992–95


Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching 1996

Heifetz Award, University of Chicago Music Department 1996

Special Citation of Excellence for Chamber Music Instruction

Chamber Music America 1996

Lake Michigan Scholars Search Prize 1994–95

Sudler Award, Civic Orchestra of Chicago 1992–93

U.S.C. Graduate Student Award 1991

Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities 1990–95

Stanley Medal, University of Michigan 1990

Music Academy Award 1989 & 1991

Nicolas Falcone Award, University of Michigan 1989

MTNA Chamber Music State Champion 1989

Otto Graf Scholarship, University of Michigan 1988

Earl V. Moore Award, University of Michigan 1988 & 1989

Phi Beta Kappa 1987

Golden Key National Honor Society 1986

U of M Angell Scholar 1985–87 & 1990


Culture at the Crossroads: the Collected Writings of Alton Augustus Adams, in African Diaspora Series, University of California Press, forthcoming.

“Edition-ing: The Cultural Rhetoric of MUSA’s Critical Editions,” American Music, forthcoming.

“Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” “Choral Music,” “Impresarios,” “Recording Companies,” and “Theodore Thomas,” entries for the Encyclopedia of Chicago History. Chicago: Newberry Library, forthcoming.

“Alton A. Adams,” “Ornette Coleman,” “Arthur Cunningham,” “Akin Euba,” “Wynton Marsalis,” “Herbert Mells,” and “George Walker,” entries in International Dictionary of Black Composers. Chicago: Fitzroy & Dearborn, 1999

“Instruments of Identity: Alton Augustus Adams, Sr., the Navy Band of the Virgin Islands, and the sounds of social change,” Black Music Research Journal 18:1/2 (Spring-Fall 1998)

“From Commodity to Creator: The search for social equality through cultural virtuosity,” liner notes for Rachel Barton, violinist, Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Cedille #90000035, 1997.

“Overcoming the Baton: The Role of Chamber Music in the Youth Symphony,” Flying Together. (Chamber Music America Education Newsletter) 7:3 (May 1996):1–3.

“Borodin String Quartets: Contradictions and conversations,” liner notes for Lark Quartet CD, Arabesque #Z6658, 1995

Papers and Presentations

“Assessing Alignment,” From Expectations to Results: Aligning Goals, Methods, and Assessment, Provost’s Seminar on Teaching, University of Michigan, 2001.

“Collaborative Learning using UM.CourseTools,” Using Technology to Promote Active Learning workshop, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan, 2001.

“UM. CourseTools: Examples and Case Studies of Useful Practice” and “Online Critique and Peer Review: Special Uses of UM.CourseTools,” Enriching Scholarship: Teaching and Technology, University of Michigan, 2001.

“Studies in the Hybrid Classroom: An Interactive Listening Environment” The Web of Learning: Instructional Technology at the UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 2001.

“Edition-ing: The Cultural Rhetoric of MUSA’s Critical Editions” American Musicological Society, Toronto, 2000.

“Imagining Ethnicity in America’s Music: Chicago’s musical institutions and the Americanization process, 1885–1929” American Studies Association, Detroit, 2000.

“Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs: A Faculty Discussion of the Real-Life Rewards and Obstacles in Using Technology for Teaching” Enriching Scholarship: Integrating Teaching, Scholarship, and Technology, University of Michigan, 2000.

“Piccolo Power: The Music of Alton Augustus Adams, First Black Bandmaster of the U.S. Navy”55th Midwestern Conference on School Vocal and Instrumental Music, University of Michigan, 2000.

“Web-based Enhancements for the Collaborative Classroom” Technology in Actions: A Gallery of Faculty Projects, Enriching Scholarship: Integrating Teaching, Information, and Technology, University of Michigan, 1999.

“Gendering Musical Space: Women in Chicago’s Opera House, 1889” Sonneck Society national conference, Fort Worth, Texas, 1999.

“Edition-ing: Scholarly Editing as an Act of Identity Construction” Sonneck Society national conference, Fort Worth, Texas, 1999.

“Imagining Ethnicity in America’s Music: Chicago’s musical institutions and the Americanization process, 1885–1929,” SEM National Conference, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 23, 1997.

“Culture at the Crossroads: Alton Adams and the construction of black identity during the Harlem Renaissance,” Inter–American Conference on Black Music Research, CBMR, Chicago, July 17, 1997.

“Invading the Public Sphere: Women in Chicago’s opera house, 1889,” Feminist Theory and Music 4 conference, June 5–8, 1997.

“Marketing Music for Chicago, 1885–1929: the patron as customer,” national meeting of the Sonneck Society for American Music, March 8, 1997. Also presented at the University of Chicago, May 1997.

“Alton Adams and the Virgin Islands March: Reconsidering culture as industry,” paper presented at the 1996 national meeting of the American Musicological Society, November 4, 1996. Also presented at the Universities of Chicago and Michigan, October 1996.

“Euphony and Utopia: Listening as an agent of social control,” presented to the University of Chicago’s Performing Culture in Public Spaces Workshop’s special “Building Culture” sessions, May 6, 1996.

“A House for Democracy: The construction of opera and society witnessed by Chicago’s Auditorium Theater,” paper presented at Cultures, Communities & the Arts, Dec. 3, 1994 at Columbia College, Chicago. Also presented for University of Chicago Public Spaces Workshop.

“By Any Means Necessary: Anthony Davis’s opera Malcolm X and the struggle for cultural legitimacy,” Society for Ethnomusicology national conference, 1993. Also presented in the Music Department colloquium at the University of Chicago, October 1993.

“Siegfried and Mrs. Strauss: An investigation of gender roles in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” Society for Ethnomusicology Midwest Chapter annual meeting, 1992. Also presented for the Ethnomusicology Workshop at the University of Chicago, 1992.

Major Performance Activities

Chrysalis Chamber Players, bassoonist 1996–97

Extra bassoonist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1996

Performed World Premiere of Music for Bassoon and Orchestra by Joseph Spaniola with the Rockford Symphony 1995

Dame Myra Hess Solo Recital, July 1993 broadcast by WFMT radio (Chicago)

Rockford Symphony Orchestra, 1st bassoon 1992–95

Civic Orchestra of Chicago, 1st bassoon 1991–94

Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, 3rd Bassoon 1993–96

Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Substitute 1994–95

Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Substitute 1994

Adrian Symphony Orchestra, 2nd Bassoon 1989–90 season

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Substitute 1988–90

Prevailing Winds Woodwind Quintet 1987–1990

University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society

Teaching at the University of Michigan

Courses Taught

Music Here and Now

Music in the City

History of U.S. Music
Music, Politics, and Popular Culture

This discussion based class will require participants to approach contemporary culture as critics, rather than consumers. We will examine the functional roles music plays in the politics of ideology, identity, emotion, censorship, and the music marketplace. Starting from the premise that music can influence our perception of the world, we will interrogate the potent social messages which composers have encoded in a wide range of musical works, including but not limited to hip hop, jazz, reggae, pop, rock, techno, Broadway, folk, MTV, gospel, patriotic song, and classical music. A primary task of the course will be to develop a critical vocabulary based upon writers in sociology, literary theory, women’s studies, and contemporary music criticism. Students will be asked to prepare for discussions by keeping a listening journal and by writing five short papers. Grading will be based upon the quality and presentation of ideas in the writing assignments described above as well as four listening quizzes, a final exam, and two group projects. Students should be conversant with musical vocabulary, but no previous knowledge in any single area of musical culture will be necessary.

Classical Music in the United States

Classical Music in the United States will explore the history of the Western European classical tradition in the New World through discussion, listening, role playing, and a class research project, culminating in an afternoon symposium. Material covered will balance the history of American composers and their works with the sometimes awkward, sometimes apparently natural, position of classical music in American culture. Issues of American identity, gender, race, and social class will be addressed in depth.

Although the ability to perform is not required, participants will be encouraged to share their musical skills in class and during an evening recital that will introduce music of the colonial and experimental traditions. Students will be able to substitute a performance with commentary for a formal written paper.

Research teams of three to four students will address a topic area within a class-wide symposium titled, “The Future of Classical Music in America?” Each team will design, execute, and present a study of classical music in contemporary American society, focusing on a core issue, such as audience, performance, composition, education, presentation, technology, and economics. Each project will be made part of the class website and presented to the class along with invited guests in an afternoon meeting, organized and executed by the class.

Collaborative teaching technology will be used extensively in the course. All participants should have a University of Michigan email and ifs account, a web browser with Real Audio, and word-processing software, preferably MSWord. All of this software is available at University computing sites across campus. Students will be asked to participate in a voluntary and anonymous assessment study to measure the effects of technology on the learning experience.
Film Music

This course will explore the emotional, technical, and cultural aspects of music in film. In addition to the Tuesday / Thursday classes, a Thursday evening screening (7–10 P.M.) will be offered. Topics covered will include the rhetoric of film music, film music techniques (synchronization, orchestration, etc.), and the analysis of select influential soundtracks, such as A Clockwork Orange, King Kong (Steiner), Vertigo (Herrmann), High Noon (Tiomkin), Fantasia, To Kill A Mockingbird (E. Bernstein), Patton (Goldsmith), 2001 (North) Koyaanisqatsi (Glass), Jaws Williams), The Red Violin (Corigliano), Blade Runner (Vangelis), The Color Purple (Jones), and Illuminata (Bolcom). Although not required, previous experience in music history would be helpful to students in this course. Materials will include a textbook, interviews with film composers, and a coursepack. Students will be expected to keep up with readings, participate in discussion (online and in-class), take regular quizzes, and complete a rich analytical graph of a music cue from a film of their choice. Students who are filmmakers or musicians will have the option of collaborating to produce music for an original production project.

Contact Information

Mark Clague, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
600 Burton Memorial Tower
University of Michigan 48109–1270
Office Telephone: (734) 647–9416
Fax: (734) 647–1897


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U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower