Meet our new faculty member: Assistant Professor of Music Paula Musegades

Paula MusegadesPhoto/Mike Lovett

Paula Musegades

As part of our series profiling new professors, Paula Musegades of the Department of Music and the American Studies Program talked with BrandeisNOW about her field and research. Musegades joined the Brandeis faculty in the fall of 2017.

How did you become interested in your field/research area?
As a trumpet player and movie-goer, I've loved music, specifically film music, from a young age. I was fascinated with the relationship between screen and image, as well as the composers’ lives and their compositional practices. Coupled with my interest in American society and culture, studying Hollywood film music was a natural choice.

What was your favorite course as a college student? 
I took a survey course on 20th century music during my junior year. We spent several weeks studying the repertoire of American composers, and more specifically, Aaron Copland. It was then that I discovered Copland composed music for films, and I was hooked.

What has been your proudest career moment so far?
I’ve enjoyed presenting my research at different national and international conferences over the past few years. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet others in my field, share research ideas, and collaborate on new projects.

What specific question/project are you most excited to explore in your work at Brandeis, and why?
I’m excited to begin my next project on the film music of Victor Young. He was a prolific, award-winning composer, with a gift for writing melodies, and we are lucky to have his papers (and Oscar) at Brandeis. 

What book would you recommend to introduce others to your field?
“What to Listen For in Music” by Aaron Copland

What's your favorite book/movie/television/radio program/podcast or hobby unrelated to your field, and why?
My favorite podcast at the moment is “The Moth,” which is a branch of The Moth Radio Hour on NPR. It is a live, storytelling event that features real people sharing their true stories. Each episode has a wonderful combination of humorous, heartbreaking, and thought provoking tales that highlight the art of storytelling and the power stories have to bring people together.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in your field?

Read, listen, and watch as much as possible. See a film with live music accompaniment, attend live concerts, and take advantage of the rich cultural opportunities that both Brandeis and Boston have to offer.

Categories: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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