Gary Tomlinson is a musicologist long committed to multidisciplinary exploration, and his teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests. Central among these have been traditions of European classical music, including the history of opera and early-modern musical thought and practice; but his work has always opened to broader perspectives, resulting in essays and books on the music of indigenous American societies, jazz, cultural and anthropological theory, and the philosophy of history.
His latest project, intersecting with archaeology and evolutionary science, investigates the role of musical capacities in the emergence of modern humanity. His books include Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance; Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others; Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera; The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact; and Music and Historical Critique. He is the coauthor, with Joseph Kerman, of the music appreciation textbook Listen, now in its seventh edition.
Tomlinson received his BA from Dartmouth College and PhD from the University of California Berkeley. He arrived at Yale in 2010 after many years as Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and garnered prizes from ASCAP, the American Musicological Society, and the British Academy. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships.