Jocelyn Nelson earned her D.M.A. in early guitar performance with an emphasis in early music at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2002. Her M.A. from the University of Denver reflects a dual degree in guitar performance and music history, and her B.M. (magna cum laude) in guitar performance is from the University of Denver. Dr. Nelson has taught music history, music appreciation, lute and guitar literature, early guitar and lute performance, and opera history at East Carolina University’s School of Music, and indigenous music and culture at ECU’s Honor’s College. Her 2010 CD of 16th century French guitar and vocal music with vocalist Amy Bartram, Ma Guiterre je te chante, garnered favorable reviews in the US, UK, and France. Recent projects include research on early guitar notation in the international collaborative Encyclopaedia of Tablature project for publication with Brepol, and authorship of music appreciation textbook Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Musical Traditions (Cognella), which won a 2019 “Most Promising New Textbook Award” from the Textbook and Academic Author’s Association. In 2017 she presented on 16th century guitar music at an International Musicological Society study group in Tours, France. As a member of the CMS Academic Citizenship Committee, she is currently exploring barriers to equity in academia especially in regard to teaching off the tenure track. Dr. Nelson was awarded the 2018 Scholar Teacher Award in ECU’s College of Fine Arts and Communication.
Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Music Traditions
A fresh, balanced approach that transcends the exclusively classical music focus of most other music appreciation texts.
Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Musical Traditions broadens standard notions of music appreciation with an introduction to local and global musical traditions, blended with social, cultural, and historical contexts. It is an ideal text for undergraduate music appreciation courses, a useful supplement for major and non-major courses in music history and world music, and an engaging source for any music lover. No musical background is necessary for this reader-friendly text.
• Unit One: American Vernacular Music focuses on music in the USA: sacred and secular traditional music, music for stage and screen, jazz, and popular music.
• Unit Two: Western Art Music takes the reader through western music chronologically from antiquity through the renaissance, baroque, classic, romantic, and modern musical eras.
• Unit Three: World Music explores music in the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, India, and Japan.
Gateway to Music features:
• Playlist Options sections give readers a choice of musical examples: with each genre description, students are invited to
o Find musical examples online with search terms
o Observe musical and contextual elements
o Ask compelling questions
• Diverse noteworthy musicians speak directly to students in full page portraits with primary source quotations
• Illustrated musical elements & musical instruments appendices show students the basic vocabulary and tools of music at a glance
Awards and Recognition
- Gateway to Music Wins Most Promising New Textbook Award The Textbook & Academic Authors Association recognizes Cognella textbook for excellence San Diego, CA – March 19, 2019 – Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Musical Traditions, written by Jocelyn Nelson, has received a Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA). Works nominated for the Most Promising New Textbook Award are judged by a panel of textbook authors and subject matter experts for merit in pedagogy, content and scholarship, writing, and appearance and design. Gateway to Music is one of ten textbooks to be awarded the honor in 2019.
Press and Media Mentions
- Watch the video by Jocelyn Nelson, which makes the case that breaking from the musical canon and allowing students the freedom to explore their own listening choices can enrich their learning experience and prepare them for modern experiences, interactions, and professions in music. The video includes student examples from Professor Nelson’s courses. View the interactive poster Jocelyn Nelson developed for her presentation on music appreciation curriculum at the 2020 College Music Society National Conference. Through this media, she speaks to the liabilities of using the musical canon and the value of providing students with listening choices instead. Gateway to Music: An Introduction to American Vernacular, Western Art, and World Music Traditions is the recipient of a 2019 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association. Read about the awards and see a full list of 2019 winners.