Gabriela Currie

Associate Professor: Musicology

Gabriela Currie received her B.A. in musicology from the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest, Romania and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. Prior to her arrival at the University of Minnesota, she taught at the Eastman School of Music, New York University, and Cooper Union.

Her research interests and publications concern medieval music theory, the intersection between musical and scientific thought in the early- and pre-modern eras, music iconography in pre-modern Eurasia, and travel accounts as early ethnographies of Byzantine, Balkan, and Ottoman musical traditions. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Association for University Women, and the Belgian-American Foundation.

Currie has presented at numerous national and international academic conferences such as American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, Medieval Academy of America, History of Science Society, as well as the International Council for Traditional Music. She is the author of The Play of Meanings: Aribo's De musica and the Hermeneutics of Musical Thought, published in 2005, and of articles on subjects ranging from medieval musical cosmology to Balkan and Eurasian music iconography that appeared in scholarly journals as well as edited collections. Current work includes several projects on the entanglement of musical thought, instruments, and practices in pre-modern Eurasia under the theoretical umbrella of intersections and intercultural exchanges in early globalities.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Music, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University, 1997.


  • Global perspectives: pre-modern music history
  • Music iconography
  • Medieval music theory
  • Intersections between musical and scientific thought in the early- and pre-modern eras
  • Music and culture of the Balkan Penninsula, Western and Central Asia
  • Early ethnographic accounts of Eurasian musical traditions
Courses Taught
  • MUS 1904 - The Color of Music
  • HSEM - Politics, Nationalism, and Music in the Balkans
  • MUS 5950 - Voices and Instruments in Pre-Modern Eurasia
  • MUS 5950 - Performing the Mediterranean
  • MUS 5950 - Lovers and Crusaders: Medieval Lyric Song
  • MUS 5950 - Revolution or Evolution? Ars nova in Fourteenth-Century France
  • MUS 5950 - Music and Culture along the Silk Road
  • MUS 8640 - Medieval Musical Thought: The Latin tradition
  • MUS 8640 - Imaging Sound, Sounding Images: Music Iconography
  • MUS 8640 - Musical and Scientific Thought from Plato to Newton
  • MUS 8644 - Advanced Research in Musicology
  • MUS 8640 - Pre-Modern Musical Thought: Eur-Asian Perspectives
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board : Imago Musicae: International Yearbook of Musical Iconography
  • Steering Committee Member: International Musicological Sociey, Study Group for Music Iconography


  • Imaged Sounds of Early Eurasian Worlds: Transcultural Perspectives : Book project
  • Imaging sound along the Silk Road: Iconographic database: images, cataloging of musical instruments, historical organological maps, and supporting information pertaining to the representations of musical instruments and dances in 1) the Byzantine and post-Byzantine frescoes in the churches of the Balkan Peninsula (ca. 1300-1700), and 2) West and Central Asian manuscripts (13th-17th c.)
  • Language, image, and the early musical world of Kuča. In Il patrimonio musicale nella storia della cultura dall’Antichità alla Prima età moderna / Music as Cultural Heritage from Antiquity to Early Modern Age, edited by Nicoletta Guidobaldi and Donatella Restani. Bononia University Press (forthcoming, 2020)
  • Sounds from under the shifting sands: reflections on Kuchean musical culture of the sixth and seventh centuries. In Crossing borders: musical change and exchange through time., edited by Arnd Adje Both and Matthias Stöckli Publications of the ICTM Study Group for Music Archaeology, Vol. 2. Ekho Verlag, 2020. Pp. 223-242.
  • Sonic entanglements and the Gandhāran nexus. In The Music Road. Coherence and Diversity in Music from the Mediterranean to India, edited by Reinhard Strohm. British Academy Publications, 2019. Pp. 41-70.
  • Mediterranean fusions: sounds and images of the Outremer. In Itineraria: Rivista della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino 16 (2017): 50-69
  • Medieval variations on a cosmic theme. In Sing aloud harmonious spheres: renaissance conceptions of cosmic harmony, edited by Jacomien Prins and Maude Vanhaelen. New York: Routledge, 2017. Pp. 62-79.
  • Glorious noise of Empire. In Medieval and early modern performance in the Eastern Mediterranean, edited by Evelyn Birge Vitz and Arzu Ozturkmen. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014. Pp. 423-449
  • The presence of musical instruments in Byzantine and post-Byzantine iconographic sources. In Greek Musical Instruments. Inquiries into art and literature (2000 BC-2000 AD), edited by Alexandra Voutyra. Athens: Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, Gr.) and Piraeus Bank Assoc. 2012. Pp. 31-55 (in Greek)
  • Poetics of proportions: late scholastic views on cosmos, sound, and color. In Proportion, edited by Philip Vendrix and Vasco Zara. Tours: Centre d'etudes superieures de la Renaissance, 2012. Pp. 119-33.
  • The emergence of a paradigm: representations of musical instruments in the Paleologan depictions of the 'Mocking of Christ'. Imago Musicae 23 (2010): 47-77
  • A corpus of pictorial representations of musical instruments and dances in the church frescoes of present-day Romania: Wallachia and Moldova, ca. 1350 to ca. 1750. Imago Musicae 23 (2010): 101-52
  • Concetum caeli quis dormire faciet? Eriugenian cosmic song and Carolingian planetary astronomy. In Quomodo cantabimus canticum: Studies in Honor of Edward H. Roesner, edited by D. B. Cannata, G. Ilnitchi Currie, R. Charnin Mueller, and L. Nadas. The American Institute for Musicology. Middleton, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, Inc., 2008. Pp. 15-35
  • Quomodo cantabimus canticum? Studies in honor of Edward H. Roesner. Eds. D. B. Cannata, G. Ilnitchi Currie, R. Charnin Mueller, and L. Nadas. American Institute of Musicology. Middleton, Wis.: A-R Editions, Inc., 2008
  • Ottoman echoes, Byzantine frescoes, and musical instruments in the Balkans. In Balkan popular culture and the Ottoman ecumene: music, image, and regional political discoursers, edited by Donna Buchanan. Europea, edited by Martin Stokes and Philip Bohlman. Lanham, Maryland and London: Scarecrow Press, 2007, 193-224
  • The play of meanings: Aribo's De Musica and the hermeneutics of musical thought. Lanham, Maryland and London: Scarecrow Press, 2005
  • Musica mundana, Aristotelian natural philosophy and Ptolemaic astronomy. Early Music History 21 (2002): 37-74
  • Music and the liturgy. In The liturgy of the medieval church, edited by Thomas]. Hefferan and E. Ann Matter. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Published for The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages, by Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2001, 645-71 (second rev. edition, 2005)
  • Fondazione Cariparo/University of Padua; Visiting Professorship, 2019
  • University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Award, 2016, 2017 - (most recent)
  • International Balzan Prize Foundation / Oxford University / Humboldt University , 2016
  • NEH Research Fellowship, 2004 - 2005
  • ACLS Eastern European Fellowship, 1998 - 1999
  • AAUW Scholar, 1992 - 1993