Devon Carter

Devon Carter


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Student in Musicology, 2019-Present

As a first-year Ph.D. student in musicology with the Music Department, I am currently exploring areas in which I may wish to conduct research. Currently my main interest is in the history of opera, especially later Romantic and early Modernist opera in the German countries, France, Britain, and the USA. Threads within that interest include how (and whether) the genre of opera changed and fragmented over this period; how the rise of operetta, light opera, and the musical changed "serious opera;" how and by whom these genres were sorted into "high" and "low" art forms, and the class/gender/racial/social differences they exploited among or imposed on their audiences; and the relation of opera and other forms of theater music to politics and music as a whole during the period of invention of "classical music" and establishment of the current canon. I am also a member of the Duke University Scholars Program.

Prior to coming to Duke, I studied music and comparative literature (with a focus in literary translation) at Brown University as an undergraduate. My senior thesis, The Cambridge Songs: A New Translation, attempted to unify my interests in the history of (vocal) music and literary translation; it consists of a translation of a eleventh-century English songbook from Latin to English, a compilation and transcription to modern notation of tunes associated with the songs, and a critical introduction. It is only the second translation of the complete songbook into English, and the first that is intended as a stand-alone work for readers with no Latin, rather than as a guide for readers of the Latin. It is also the first English translation to make even a partial compilation of the music associated with these poems. I was also active as a singer, director, and producer with Brown Opera Productions, a student-run opera company.


Brown University, Bachelor of Arts in Music and Comparative Literature; magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; Departmental Honors (awarded for undergraduate thesis) in both Music and Comparative Literature.