Ziegel’s research interests range widely, encompassing such diverse outlets as American opera, film music, American popular song, and the eighteenth-century keyboard sonata. His research has been presented at annual national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, and the National Opera Association. His articles and reviews have appeared in the journals American Music, The Opera Journal, Music Research Forum, American Music Review, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, and the Journal of the Society for American Music.
His primary avenue of research inquiry focuses on the now little-known composition and production of operas by American composers during the 1910s. He won the National Opera Association’s annual Scholarly Paper Competition with an article that examined the formation of an American style of opera libretto during the early years of the twentieth century. Ziegel is a specialist on the music of Vernon Duke, a composer equally adept at writing both popular songs and classical concert music. The journal American Music published his reassessment of Duke’s compositional style, after which he was invited to contribute a revised biographical entry on the composer to the forthcoming second edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music. His article in Music Research Forum compares the alternate film scores for Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête composed by Georges Auric and Philip Glass. He is a past recipient of the A-R Editions Award from the Midwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society for a paper on Robert Schumann’s early, unfinished Symphony in g minor.
At Towson, Ziegel teaches courses on music in the United States of America.