My Work Focuses on: 
the intersection of music, globalization, and technology in twentieth-century African and European musical production and consumption
My Other Interests Include: 
music and decolonization; music and digital culture; the history of science and technology; media studies; popular music studies


More about Sophie Brady

My dissertation explores how movement between Africa and Europe shaped mid-twentieth-century experimental music. I propose that African radio technicians and musicians in the 1950s-1970s were central to the development of experimental avant-garde music. While scholars have long associated experimental music with composers and institutions in Europe and North America, and more recently Latin America and the Middle East, my research explores the contributions of African musicians and technicians during this vital period. Not only were African musicians significantly involved in experimental music making within their own countries and regional context, they also influenced twentieth-century popular and art music all over the world—from musique concrète to New Wave. By centering these actors in the history of experimental music, we can see the genre's global interconnectedness. In addition to offering a more complete history of experimental music, I also complicate conventional notions of African music, which is usually defined according to the binary categories of either traditional or popular music.

At Princeton, I have taught undergraduate courses on American music and recording technology (AMS 399 for Professor Emily Thompson) and Western symphonic repertoire (MUS 225 for Professor Ruth Ochs). 

An alto in the Princeton University Glee Club and Early Music Princeton, I am also a Resident Graduate Student at Forbes College, a Graduate Writing Center Fellow, and a member of the Student Friends of the Princeton University Library. 

I have written program notes to accompany concerts and operas for The Glimmerglass Festival, Bard Music Festival, Princeton University Concerts, and others. Sample notes are available upon request. 

Recognition & Awards

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, West African Research Association, 2020

Annual Meeting Travel Award, Society for Ethnomusicology, 2019

Roy Dickinson Welch Fellowship in Music, Princeton University, 2017-2018

Emerging Leader in the New York Arts, 2016-2017

The W. Caball Greet Prize for Excellence in English Literature, Barnard College, 2015

Phi Beta Kappa, 2015 


“Review: International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP).” Journal of the American Musicological Society 72, No. 3 (December 2019): 920-935.