Bellman, Jonathan. The exotic in western music. Boston : Northeastern University Press, 1998.

Pp. 218-257: “‘I'm an Indian too’ : creating Native American identities in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century music” by Michael V. Pisani.



Eckhardt-Gramatté, S. C. (Sophie-Carmen). Introduction and variations on a theme from my childhood : for piano. edited by Michael Pisani. Waterloo, Ont., Canada : Waterloo Music Co., c1990. [SCORE]



Wilson, Richard. Aethelred the unready an opera in seven scenes.  Albany, NY : Albany Records, 2002. [CD]

“Michael Pisani rendered invaluable assistance with respect to direction and musical preparation.” 

Source: Accompanying CD booklet.



Graziano, John Michael. Music, American made : essays in honor of John Graziano. Sterling Heights, Mich. : Harmonie Park Press, 2011. 

Chapter 22: “Traditional music and art music adaptations. Two musical modernists in search of national legitimacy : Arthur Farwell and Béla Bartók, 1904 to 1908” by Michael V. Pisani.


Beginning January 2014, Michael Pisani was appointed Editor of American Music: A quarterly journal devoted to all aspects of American music and music in America.


Neumeyer, David.  The Oxford handbook of film music studies. New York : Oxford University Press, 2014.

Chapter 22: “When the music surges” by Michael Pisani.


The Cambridge Companion to English Melodrama. Edited by Carolyn Williams. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2018.

“Melodramatic Music” by Michael V. Pisani.


Selected Articles: (Access available to members of the Vassar Community)


Pisani, Michael V. “The Corsican Brothers and the Legacy of its Tremulous ‘Ghost Melody’". The Journal of Film Music ; Claremont, Calif.  Vol. 5, Iss. 1-2, (2012): 29-39.

Abstract: Audiences for stage plays, like audiences for narrative film, rarely remember much about the music, only whether or not it was appropriate to the dramatic genre. The "Ghost Melody" represents one specific case of nineteenth-century music for melodramatic theatre that lingered in the minds of audiences long afterward. It appeared in the original French production of The Corsican Brothers (1850) and carried over into British and American stage productions. Always coupled with special scenic effects, it worked as a persuasive tool to help suspend disbelief. The melody with its setting represents a specific type of melodramatic music, one used for the supernatural appearance of a deceased loved one. Its effect resonates in the music of other stage plays and in music composed to films of a similar genre. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]   Document URL:

Pisani, Michael. “Report from the Conference: Historiography Interest Group “ The Bulletin of the Society for American Music ; Boulder, Colo.  Vol. 33, Iss. 2, (Spring 2007): 33.

Abstract: Reports on issues addressed by Josephine Wright, Professor of Music and Black Studies at the College of Wooster, in her lecture titled, "Researching African-American Slave Spirituals: The Case for a Return to Historical Method." Wright's presentation was made at the 2007 Society for American Music Conference in Pittsburgh. Document URL:

Pisani, Michael V. “From Hiawatha to Wa-Wan: Musical Boston and the uses of native American lore.” American Music ; Champaign Vol. 19, Iss. 1,  (Spring 2001): 39-50.

Abstract: When in 1901 Arthur Farwell embarked upon the publication of his music serial, the "Wa-Wan Press, out of Newton Center MA, his stated objective was to make available serious compositions by American composers. Music in Boston and the uses of Native American lore in the music are discussed.Document URL:

Pisani, Michael V. “Longfellow, Robert Stoepel, and an early musical setting of Hiawatha (1859)” American Music ; Champaign  Vol. 16, Iss. 1,  (Spring 1998): 45-85.

Abstract: Music goes unmentioned in William Sloane Kennedy's biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow regarding "The Song of Hiawatha." Pisani discusses Robert Stoepel's "Hiawatha: Indian Symphony. Document URL:

Pisani, Michael V. “A kapustnik in the American opera house: Modernism and Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges.” The Musical Quarterly ; Oxford  Vol. 81, Iss. 4,  (Winter 1997): 487-515.

Abstract: Prokofiev's "The Love for Three Oranges" is largely a satire on all that is elevated--courtly life and operatic extravagance. Document URL:

Pisani, Michael V. “The Indian Music Debate and ‘American’ Music in the Progressive Era.” College Music Symposium ; Binghamton, N. Y.  Vol. 37, (Fall 1997): 73-93.

Abstract: Examines the debate launched by composers and music critics in the United States at the end of 19th century about the viability of an idiomatically American music and whether its roots could be found in folk music and discusses the views of Dvorak and MacDowell on nationalism and progressive ideology. Document URL: