Professor of Musicology
Dr. Keith Clifton, associate professor of musicology, teaches all levels of undergraduate and graduate music history and courses in popular music and world music. Prior to his 2002 appointment at CMU, he held faculty positions in Arkansas, Iowa, and Illinois. He holds a bachelor’s degree in voice, cumlaude, from the University of Texas at Austin, M.M. and Ph.D. degrees in musicology from Northwestern University, and a Certificat de Langue Française from the Collège Internationale de Cannes, France.
Dr. Clifton’s musicological work centers on twentieth-century France and the United States, especially Maurice Ravel and Les Six. His major research areas include opera, American music, popular music, and gender studies. Widely published with nearly forty scholarly contributions to his credit, his articles and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Notes, Fontes Artis Musicae, College Music Symposium, The Opera Journal, TheJournal of Singing, TheReader’s Guide toMusic History, The Journal of Musicological Research, Canadian University Music Review, H-France, The Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, LGBTQ America Today, and Madonna's Drowned Worlds. He is a frequent consultant to academic publishers and music-related articles for regional, national, and international media, including Cnn.com, Investor’s Business Daily, Semana, The Baltimore Sun, and The Dallas Morning News. Clifton’s longstanding interest in American song culminated in a 2008 book for Scarecrow Press titled RecentAmerican Art Song: A Guide. This resource is the first to examine in detail post-1980 American classical song and has been positively reviewed in several major venues.
Professor Clifton has lectured and presented academic papers throughout the United States and abroad for regional and national meetings of the American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society congresses in Belgium and Switzerland, the Songs Across the Americas Festival in Bolivia, the Bach Festival in Peru, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Feminist Theory and Music, the College Music Society, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, and the Elderhostel program.
In addition to his work as a musicologist, Dr. Clifton remains an active performer of opera, art song, and choral music. He served as tenor section leader at Winnetka (IL) Congregational Church from 1993–1998, and has performed as a soloist and choral singer for several American choirs and festivals in Europe, Great Britain, and South America. Professional memberships include the American Musicological Society, where he serves on the national Committee on Cultural Diversity, and the College Music Society, where he serves as Great Lakes Chapter secretary and board member for musicology. Strongly committed to teaching, Dr. Clifton was a finalist for the CMU Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006. His former students are enrolled in or have completed advanced degrees at major musicology programs across the United States and abroad.
Phone: (989) 774-2228