Arne Spohr


  • Position: Professor (musicology)
    Director of Early Music Ensemble
  • Phone: 419-372-2519
  • Email:
  • Address: 1052 Moore Musical Arts Center

Arne Spohr (he/him/his) studied musicology, German, theology, and education at the Universities of Bonn, Oxford, and Wisconsin-Madison and received his PhD in musicology from the Hochschule für Musik Köln. His research explores Renaissance and Baroque music in its many dimensions—performative, aesthetic, cultural, social, and political—and has focused especially on cultural transfer between Britain and the continent around 1600; the intersections of sound, music, space, and power in European court culture; and the role of race and social status in the lives of Black court musicians in the Holy Roman Empire.

Among his publications are a monograph on Anglo-German musical relations around 1600, an edited volume on Michael Praetorius, as well as articles in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, the Journal for Seventeenth Century Music, the Schütz-Jahrbuch, and the Danish Yearbook of Musicology. He also contributed to the German-language dictionaries Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit, Händel-Lexikon, and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, one of the most comprehensive reference works in the field of music. He is currently completing his second book, Concealed Music in Early Modern Pleasure Houses, for Indiana University Press and, in collaboration with Joseph McHardy, a critical edition of Vicente Lusitano’s Latin motets for A-R Editions.

His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (Germany), the German Academic Exchange Service, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society at BGSU. He is currently serving as President of the American Musicological Society, Midwest Chapter.

In his undergraduate and graduate courses, he focuses on questions of culture, identity (especially race and gender), historiography, performance, and global dimensions of Western Music. He also directs the BGSU Early Music Ensemble, an ensemble course that explores repertoire from ca. 1500-1800. As a recorder player, he studied with Wolfgang Dey (Hochschule für Musik Köln), won a first prize in Germany’s young musicians’ competition Jugend Musiziert on the national level, has taught on the faculty of the Madison Early Music Festival, and has performed with the Michigan-based Baroque ensemble Salutaris and with BGSU faculty.   

Live performance of Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto in G minor (RV 107) from the Faculty Artist Series at Bowling Green State University's College of Musical Arts (February 19, 2020):

Research Areas: Music in Germany, Britain, and Scandinavia, 1550-1750; Historical Sound Studies; Early Music and Race

Selected Publications

Books, Edited Books:

  • Concealed Music in Early Modern Pleasure Houses (Indiana University Press, in progress).
  • “How chances it they travel?” Englische Musiker in Dänemark und Norddeutschland [English Musicians in Denmark and Northern Germany], 1579-1630. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009.
  • Michael Praetorius – Vermittler europäischer Musiktraditionen um 1600 [Michael Praetorius – Agent of European Musical Traditions], Hildesheim: Olms, 2011 (coedited with Susanne Rode-Breymann).

Articles and Book Chapters:

  • “Michael Praetorius als Klangarchitekt” [Michael Praetorius as Aural Architect]. In Musik im Umbruch. Zum 400. Todesjahr von Michael Praetorius, edited by Sven Limbeck, Rainer Schmitt, and Sigrid Wirth, 183-207. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2022.
  • “From ‘Seiten-Kunst’ to ‘Fürsten Gunst’: The Careers of the Anglo-German Musicians William, Christian, and Steffen Brade.” Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music 26 (2020), accessed 09/04/2021,
  • “‘Mohr und Trompeter’. Blackness and Social Status in Early Modern Germany.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 72/3 (2019): 613-663,
  • “Concealed Music in Early Modern Diplomatic Ceremonial.” In Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present, edited by Rebekah Ahrendt, Mark Ferraguto and Damien Mahiet, 1-19. New York: Palgrave, 2014.

Selected Classes Taught:

MUCT 1010: Exploring Music

MUCT 2610: Music History I

MUCT 2220: Turning Points

MUCT 4040: Counterpoint II

MUCT 4070: Performance Practice

MUCT 4230E/5010E: Early Music Ensemble

MUCT 5070: Review of Music History I

MUCT 6200: Topics in Early Music History

MUCT 6220: Seminar in Music History

MUCT 6230: Seminar in Style Analysis

Graduate Seminar Topics: Music and Ritual; Turning Points in Music History; Music, Sound, and Space; Black Musicians in Early Modern Europe; Marginalized Identities in Early Music; Race and Classical Music

Updated: 06/21/2024 03:16PM