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Thomas W. Patteson

Music History

Thomas W. Patteson is a specialist in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. His areas of interest include the experimental and electronic traditions in music since 1900, the history of aesthetics and compositional technique, and the interface between musical concepts and instrumental technology. Among the figures examined in his writings and presentations are Iannis Xenakis, Morton Feldman, Eliane Radigue, Roland Kayn, Pietro Grossi, François Bayle, and Jörg Mager. As a teacher, he pursues constructivist methods of music education inspired by the pedagogical theories of John Dewey.
Dr. Patteson received his BA from New College of Florida, where he wrote his senior thesis on the musical aesthetics of the German philosopher Theodor Adorno. Supported by a Fulbright Scholarship, he studied 20th-century music under Cristoph von Blumröder at the University of Cologne. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation on new technologies and musical modernism in Germany during the Weimar Republic.
Actively involved in the Philadelphia new music scene, Dr. Patteson is an associate curator at Bowerbird and has collaborated with groups such as Data Garden, <fidget>, and Philadelphia Sound Forum. Since 2009, he has been documenting his own highly idiosyncratic adventures in listening on his music blog, Acousmata. He joined the Curtis faculty in 2013.