Joshua S. Duchan
Joshua S. Duchan is an ethnomusicologist specializing in American popular music. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan with a dissertation on collegiate a cappella groups. His monograph, Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2012; the paperback version was released in 2016. Dr. Duchan's other publications include essays in American Music (2007), the edited collection, Play It Again: Cover Songs in Popular Music (Ashgate, 2010), Michigan Music Educator (2011), the Journal of American Folklore (2012), the Journal on the Art of Record Production (2013), Rock Music Studies (2015), the book A Cappella (Alfred, 2015), the American Music Research Center Journal (2015), The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (Cambridge University Press, 2016), the Bulletin of the Society for American Music (2017), and the Michigan Historical Review (2017). He has presented his work at meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the International Council for Traditional Music, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the international Art of Record Production conference, and at various conferences on and festivals of a cappella music.
Dr. Duchan's current research projects include a study of the music of American singer-songwriter Billy Joel. His latest book on the subject, Billy Joel: America's Piano Man, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2017. It has been called "much more than a biography. The writing style is fluid and the research solid, providing much insight into Joel. A must-read analysis of the work of one our most popular performers" (Library Journal 6/1/17). And it has been praised as "a smart analysis... [and] a welcomed addition to the books that have come before" (Jeff Schock, director of the Billy Joel Archives).
As part of his research, Dr. Duchan was also the co-organizer of "'It's Still Rock and Roll to Me': The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel -- a Public Musicology Conference," held in October 2016 at Colorado College with support from the American Musicological Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The symposium, during which Dr. Duchan conducted a live interview with Mr. Joel as the keynote event, was featured in the New York Times.
In addition, Dr. Duchan is working on an essay about ethnography on American college and university campuses in a forthcoming edited collection, as well as an article on rehearsal practices scheduled to appear in a forthcoming volume of world of music (new series). He has also been invited by the American Musicological Society to give a lecture on his research at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2018.
Presently, Dr. Duchan serves as the Graduate Officer for the Department of Music as well as on the WSU Graduate Council. Additionally, he is chair of the Program Committee for the 2017 meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, chair of the Lise Waxer Prize Committee of the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology, is a member of the Irving Lowens Article Award Committee for the Society for American Music, and sits on the advisory board of the popular music book series, "For the Record" (Lexington Books). He was also named a 2013-2014 Resident Scholar at the Wayne State University Humanities Center and received a 2015 Faculty Creative/Research Grant from Wayne State University's College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts.
Before joining the faculty at Wayne State University, Dr. Duchan taught at Kalamazoo College and Bowling Green State University. At Wayne State University, Dr. Duchan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music history, world music, popular music, and ethnomusicology. Outside of teaching, he remains an active participant in the regional and national a cappella scene as an adjudicator, arranger, clinician, and producer.
Read a feature article about Dr. Duchan, his latest book, and his research on the music of Billy Joel in the WSU Alumni Magazine.
Recent Courses Taught
- MUH 1340 Music Appreciation: World Music
- MUH 3320 Music History & Literature II
- MUH 3330 Music History & Literature III
- MUH 5315 Special Topics in Music History: Popular Music Studies
- MUH 5315 Special Topics in Music History: Problems & Techniques in Ethnomusicology
- MUH 5340 Music Appreciation: World Music
- MUH 7315 Special Topcs in Music History: Popular Music Studies
- MUH 7315 Special Topcs in Music History: Problems & Techniques in Ethnomusicology
- MUH 7360 Studies in Twentieth-Century Music
Recent Graduate Student Projects
- "The Power of a Flying Pig: Carl Stalling, Looney Tunes, and America's Need for an Escape," Winter 2017.
- "Transformations of the Cinderella Story in Nineteenth-Century Opera," Spring/Summer 2015.
- "The Guitar Stylings of Keith Richards: 1968-1972," Fall 2014.
- "Overture to Finale: Verismo in Puccini and Its Evolution in the Twentieth-Century Musical," Winter 2014.
- "The Left Temporoparietal Junction," Winter 2013.
Recent BA, Capstone, and Honors Projects
- "Cultural Appropriation: Musical Identity and American Counterculture," Fall 2015.
- "An Exploration of the Mbira," Winter 2015.
- "Expanding the Vocal Repertoire: Works for Voice by Women Composers," Fall 2014.
- "Searching for Identity Through Music: An Introduction to the Music of Coastal Peru," Winter 2014.
- "The Value of Praise," Fall 2012.
Awards and Honors
- Faculty Creative/Research Grant, College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts, Wayne State University, 2015.
- Working Groups Grant, Humanities Center, Wayne State University, 2014-2016.
- Resident Scholar, Humanities Center, Wayne State University, 2013-2014.
Billy Joel: America's Piano Man (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)
Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella (University of Michigan Press, 2012)