Musicologist Andrew Hicks receives awards for book

Andrew Hicks, associate professor of music and medieval studies, has been recognized with two awards for his recent book, “Composing the World: Harmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos,” published by Oxford University Press.

Hicks received the Emerging Scholar book award from the Society of Music Theory at the 2018 annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The Society of Music Theory is an organization dedicated to promoting the development of and engagement with music theory as a scholarly discipline.  The Society awards five prizes annually for the best books and articles on music-theoretical topics in a variety of categories.

In announcing the award, the committee explained its selection as follows: “This year’s Emerging Scholar Award for a Book recognizes a landmark volume on music, philosophy, and sound.  Placing recent discoveries in astrophysics into conversation with twentieth-century critical theory and ancient philosophy and cosmology, the book provides a new intellectual history of our persistent fascination with universal musical harmony.  In it, the author explains the foundational and normative role of music theory within ancient and medieval models of the cosmos, focusing in particular on the twelfth-century reception of Platonism.  With philosophical verve and philological rigor, the book demonstrates the continued relevance of these early doctrines for contemporary conversations in both modern science and critical thought.”

Hicks was also presented with the ASCAP Foundation’s 2018 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award for outstanding print, broadcast and new media coverage of music. The award was established in 1967 to honor the memory of composer, critic and commentator Deems Taylor, who died in 1966 after a distinguished career that included six years as President of ASCAP. Virgil Thomson was one of the leading American composers of the 20th century.

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs.

Hicks’ research focuses on the intellectual history of early musical thought from a cross-disciplinary perspective that embraces philosophical, cosmological, scientific and grammatical discourse in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, and spans the linguistic and cultural spheres of Latin, Greek, Persian, and Arabic. He has published with Fr. Édouard Jeauneau an edition of John Scottus Eriugena’s “Commentary and Homily on the Gospel of John” (CCCM 166, Brepols 2008). He is working on a monograph on medieval Persian musical culture, tentatively titled “The Broken Harp: Music in Classical Persian Literature,” and is completing an edition of William of Conches’s “Glosae super Priscianum,” a twelfth-century Latin commentary on Priscian’s “Institutiones grammaticae.”

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 Andrew Hicks, associate professor of music