Marcel Camprubi Graduate Student: Musicology

I am a music historian invested in global approaches to music. My research focuses on the Arabic Middle Ages, and on two distinct contexts in particular: ninth and tenth-century Baghdad, and medieval Iberia (al-Andalus). Much of my work is informed by extensive engagement with manuscript sources.

My dissertation, “Al-Fārābī’s Lines of Thought: Notations and Histories of Music Theory from ʿAbbāsid Baghdad (762–1055)” (May 2024 defense anticipated) traces the emergence of the earliest Arabic music treatises in ʿAbbāsid Baghdad—a period of dramatic growth in Arabic textual culture—and the unique set of conditions that fostered new, literate forms of musical transmission—notation included. I place al-Fārābī (c. 870–950), the leading music theorist of the time, at the center of this story, showing how different facets and phases of his musical writings relate to this broad paradigm shift, out of which emerged new musical notations and competing narratives around the Arabic music-theoretical tradition.

I am also translating a number of ninth- to eleventh-century Arabic music-theoretical texts (Ibn al-Munajjim, al-Kindī, Thābit ibn Qurra, Ibn Zayla) into English for the first time, which I hope to make available to teachers and researchers interested in music in the Arabic Middle Ages. 

At Princeton, in the Fall of 2023 I will be co-teaching my own course with my supervisor Jamie Reuland, Music in the Global Middle Ages (MUS 338), and I have precepted for Introduction to Music (MUS 103). I am the organizer of the conference Instruments of Global Music Theory, taking place on 19–20 May 2023.

Before coming to Princeton, I completed my undergraduate studies in musicology in Barcelona and obtained a master’s in Medieval Studies from the University of Oxford.

Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship, American Musicological Society, 2023–24

E. K. Rand Dissertation Grant, Medieval Academy of America, 2023

Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University, 2022–23

Medieval Academy of America/CARA Summer Scholarship for Classical Arabic studies, 2020


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