Andrew A. Cashner

Musician and Musicologist


I am a musician and scholar of music, specializing in religious music and devotional practices with particular focus on early modern Christianity in the Spanish-speaking world. I am an assistant professor of music at the University of Rochester.

I teach courses in the history, structure, and cultural meanings of music. See the teaching page for course descriptions.

My research examines how people have used music to express and enact their religious beliefs. I am interested in how people across time and in different cultures use music to create relationships with each other and with what Olivier Messiaen called the world beyond, especially the ways that music can delineate and transgress boundaries between sacred and secular domains, and between elite and common social strata. My areas of interest include the history and theology of Christian worship, colonial studies and global music history, ritual studies and hermeneutic theory, musical analysis and interpretation, and music transcription, editing, and digital encoding. I am pursuing a holistic approach to understanding how structures of musical sound are linked to structures of society and belief.

My research has been recognized by the 2015 Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society, and by fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for European Studies at Columbia University, the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago, and the US Department of Education.

My current book project is a study of music about music in villancicos, a genre of vernacular devotional music from seventeenth-century Mexico and Spain. These metamusical villancicos—such as pieces about heavenly and angelic music, the harmony of the spheres, and representations of human singing and dancing—reveal how Hispanic Catholics understood music’s power in the relationship between hearing and faith. See the research and villancico pages for more information.

I perform regularly on piano, organ, and harpsichord. I enjoy collaboration and improvisation across a broad stylistic range. My compositions include choral music, songs, and solo piano pieces. See the performance page for recordings and scores.

I received the PhD from the University of Chicago, with the dissertation Faith, Hearing, and the Power of Music in Hispanic Villancicos, 1660–1700. I received the Master of Sacred Music degree in organ performance from the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Lawrence University. I also studied piano performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. See the curriculum vitae page for more information on my publications and experience.


Andrew A. Cashner

Curriculum vitae

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