Rika Asai

  • Lecturer

Fields

Music history teaching and learning; American music; Music and media; Advertising music; Consumer culture

Profile

I am a teacher of music history and culture. At Pitt, I instruct undergraduate music majors and non-music majors and mentor graduate students preparing for careers as teachers. In my teaching and mentoring, I hope to impart my joy for music and to foster curiosity about music’s historical and cultural contexts. I am also interested in creating a framework for students to understand their own consumption of music and culture and to see themselves as active creators, performers, and listeners in the context of the modern world.

I earned my PhD in Musicology at Indiana University and have taught in the United States and China. My teaching experience includes courses for music majors and non-music majors in the areas of music history, music appreciation, music theory, world music, and popular music. I have taught large-size and seminar-style courses in face-to-face, online, and broadcast formats. In addition to my classroom experience, I am interested in music history learning and run a music history pedagogy reading group at Pitt.

My research also informs my approach to teaching. My work centers on music’s relationship with consumer culture and media. I contributed a chapter, “‘From operatic pomp to a Benny Goodman stomp!’: The National Biscuit Company and Let’s Dance,” to Music and the Broadcast Experience: Performance, Production, and Audiences, an anthology edited by Christina Baade and James Deaville published by Oxford University Press (2016). My work will also be included in the forthcoming volumes Oxford Handbook on Music and Advertising, edited by Ron Rodman, Siu-Lan Tan, and James Deaville (OUP) and Music in Radio Drama, edited by Pim Verhulst and Jarmila Mildorf (Brill).

I have presented my work at several regional, national, and international conferences including, most recently, the regional AMS (Rocky Mountain chapter) meeting in April 2017 and at the international conferences “Music, Festivals, Heritage,” in Siena, Italy in May 2017 and “A ‘Musical League of Nations’?: Music Institutions and the Politics of Internationalism,” in London, England in June 2018.

Current Courses (2018-19)

Introduction to Western Art Music

American Music

History of Western Music from 1750

Selected Publications

“‘From operatic pomp to a Benny Goodman stomp!’: The National Biscuit Company and Let’s Dance,” in Music and the Broadcast Experience: Performance, Production, and Audiences, edited by Christina Baade and James Deaville. Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Music and Institutional Advertising: Consolidated Edison and Echoes of New York,” in The Oxford Handbook of Music and Advertising, edited by Ron Rodman, Siu-Lan Tan, and James Deaville. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“Made in America: Music, Radio Drama, and the Kitsch Aesthetic,” Music in Radio Drama, edited by Pim Verhulst and Jarmila Mildorf. Brill Publishers, forthcoming.

Recent Presentations

Session chair, “Hearing Empire, Racing the Metropole: Complicating Britishness with Popular Music and Jazz,” 2018 Biennial Conference of the North American British Music Studies Association (July 2018).

“Internationalism and The American Musicological Society: AMS Day at the 1939 New York World’s Fair,” read via Skype at conference, “A ‘Musical League of Nations’?: Music Institutions and the Politics of Internationalism,” Institute of Musical Research, Senate House, London, England (June 2018).

Guest curator, “Logan 1948–49,” Museum + Music series, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University (October 2017).

“Musical Visions of America: Roy Harris and the 1949 Summer Music Festival in Logan, Utah,” read at CHIME conference, “Music, Festivals, Heritage,” hosted by the Siena Jazz Archive, Siena, Italy (May 2017).

“‘There is much to do which is thoroughly worthwhile doing in that little empire of mountains and valleys’: The 1948-49 Residency of Roy Harris at the Utah State Agricultural College, read at annual meeting of American Musicological Society-Rocky Mountain Chapter, Salt Lake City, UT (April 2017).

“The Multimedia Advertisement: Consolidated Edison’s Diorama at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair,” read at the American Musicological Society/Society of Music Theory joint meeting, Milwaukee, WI (November 2014).

“Music, Advertising, and Radio: The National Biscuit Company and Let’s Dance,” read at the American Musicological Society meeting, San Francisco, CA (November 2011).

Education & Training

  • PhD, Indiana University

Faculty Groupings

Core Faculty

Main Department Affliliation

Lecturer