Timothy Rommen

Davidson Kennedy Professor in the College
Chair in Music
Room 310, Lerner Music Building

Timothy Rommen (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2002) is the Davidson Kennedy Professor in the College and Professor of Music and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in the music of the Caribbean with research interests that include coloniality/decoloniality, the political economy of music and sound, creole musical formations, tourism, diaspora, music and spirituality, and the ethics of style.

Research Interests: 

Tim is currently engaged in a long-term musical ethnography of Dominica. Focusing on the musical complexities and socio-cultural meanings accruing to jing ping, cadence-lypso, and bouyon in the process of interacting with each other and with other local and translocal genres, this project investigates: 1) the many ways through which historical and contemporary junctures and disjunctures between the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean have shaped the particular spaces within which Dominican music is produced and consumed; 2) the musical and linguistic inheritances that, forged into new statements of creole musical life, combine to provide rich sources for the region’s popular music; and 3) the fraught dynamics by virtue of which tourism and the fiscal pressures attendant to small island economics continue to exert downward pressure on the options and opportunities available to musicians and audiences in Dominica. 

Courses Taught: 

Undergraduate Courses

  • Introduction to Music in World Cultures (MUSC 50)
  • Introduction to Global Music (MUSC 150)
  • Latin American Music (MUSC 158)
  • Caribbean Music and Diaspora (MUSC 258)
  • Accordions of the New World (MUSC 157)

Graduate Courses

  • Intellectual History of Ethnomusicology (MUSC 605)
  • Writing About Music (MUSC 608)
  • Field Methods in Ethnomusicology (MUSC 650/450)
  • Caribbean Music and the Ethics of Style (MUSC 705)
  • Caribbean Popular Music and Tourism (MUSC 705)
  • Theorizing the circum-Caribbean (MUSC 705)
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