Charles Hiroshi Garrett

Professor of Musicology, Glenn McGeoch Collegiate Professor of Music


Charles Hiroshi Garrett joined the University of Michigan faculty in 2004.   His research and teaching centers on music and musical cultures of the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with special interest in popular music, jazz, technology, sound studies, digital culture, nationalism, and race and ethnicity, among other facets of identity.  The University honored him with a Faculty Recognition Award in 2014 and the John H. D’Arms Faculty Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities in 2023.

His book, Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century (2008), received the Irving Lowens Memorial Book Award (Society for American Music) and honorable mention for the Woody Guthrie Award (IASPM-US). He coedited the collection Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries (2012) with David Ake and Daniel Goldmark and Sounding Together: Collaborative Perspectives on U.S. Music in the 21st Century (2021) with Carol J. Oja.  He served as editor-in-chief for The Grove Dictionary of American Music, second edition (2013), the most comprehensive reference source in the field, which is also published as part of Oxford/Grove Music Online.  He has presented papers at a wide variety of national and international conferences, and his articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological SocietyEchoNotes, and American Music.  He has also served in key leadership roles for music-centered scholarly societies, including as President of the Society for American Music and as a director-at-large on the board of the American Musicological Society.

Professor Garrett’s current book project, Virtually Music, addresses the impact of 21st-century digital technologies on how we produce, understand, and experience musical culture today. It ranges from music enhanced by artificial intelligence to touring productions featuring musical holograms, from live concerts presented through virtual reality platforms to operas starring robots, from iPhone orchestras to virtually synthesized digital pop stars.  Other ongoing projects include a broad study of music and humor across genres, and a more focused examination of the politics of musical representation surrounding the Japanese-American internment experience during World War II.


BA (computer science), BA (music), Columbia University
MA, PhD (musicology), University of California-Los Angeles