Gretchen Carlson


Gretchen Carlson

Contact Info

CA 2106


Gretchen Carlson joins Towson’s music department as a full-time lecturer in 2020, after serving two years as an adjunct professor in the division of Music History and Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music from the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia. She also holds an M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University-Newark, and undergraduate degrees in music and psychology from Gettysburg College. Gretchen specializes in jazz, American popular music, and film music, focusing on the music’s intersections with media, popular culture, and sociology, and examining topics of agency, creativity, reception, and musical meaning. Her interests and teaching areas also include world music, music cognition, women in music, and culture studies. Gretchen’s research is published in the Journal of the Society for American Music and in Jazz and Culture. Her forthcoming book, Improvising the Score: Rethinking Modern Film Music Through Jazz (University Press of Mississippi) examines “behind the scenes” collaborations between contemporary jazz musicians and filmmakers, contributing new insights into the negotiations between creative agency, labor, and meaning in film soundtrack production, and further theorizing how these jazz-film intersections might influence future film music approaches. She has presented her research at both national and international conferences, including annual meetings of the Society for American Music, The American Musicological Society, the Jazz Education Network, and Rhythm Changes. Outside of her research, writing, and teaching at Towson, Gretchen teaches private piano lessons, and enjoys cooking, spending time outdoors, dancing, having jam sessions, and spending time with family and friends.