Faculty & Staff
David Pruett, PhD
Areas of Expertise
American music, world music, Ethnomusicology
PhD, Florida State University
David B. Pruett is a recent addition to the UMass Boston faculty. Professor Pruett comes to us from Middle Tennessee State University, where he taught courses in popular music in America, Western music history, world music, music appreciation, music of the Middle East, and applied Middle Eastern percussion. He received his BM in music performance (percussion) and a BA (equivalent) in German at Appalachian State University in 1996. He received his MA in German and MM in musicology (ethnomusicology) with a certificate in world music from the Florida State University in 2000 where he completed his PhD in Musicology (Ethnomusicology) in 2007. Pruett has participated in five study abroad programs, totaling over three years in Germany, one of which comprised a year-long stint at the University of Würzburg and the Würzburg Conservatory of Music where he studied percussion with Professor Siegfried Fink.
While at FSU, he taught courses in world music, folk and popular music in North America, namely those with cultural ties to the American South, and courses in beginning, intermediate, and advanced German language. His master's thesis is entitled "Preserving Cultural Identity: WPAQ and the Dissemination of Bluegrass and Old-Time Music." Pruett’s dissertation, titled “MuzikMafia: Community, Identity, and Change from the Nashville Scene to the Popular Mainstream,” derives from his four-year study of the Nashville multi-platinum-selling phenomenon known as MuzikMafia. Pruett has recently finished a monograph based, in part, on his dissertation research for the University Press of Mississippi.
Pruett’s areas of specialization are American folk and popular music, specifically commercial country music, music of the Middle-East and India (Hindustan), Carl Orff and the Günther-Schule, and German language and literature. Secondary areas of interest include global popular music, second language acquisition, and study abroad. His publications include articles in the Country Music Annual 2002, the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (2005), four entries in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (2005), Discourses in Music 4:1 (Fall 2002), and an article on Carl Orff in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education 24:3 (April 2003), and the MuzikMafia (spring 2010). Since spring 2000 he has presented 32 academic papers at meetings for the Society for Ethnomusicology, the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the International Bluegrass Symposium, the International Country Music Conference, and Tennessee's CMENC. In 2009 Pruett released his first recording Bella-Musiqa, an album of instrumental music from the Middle East. He is on the board of advisors to the Southern Music Hall of Fame and is a member of the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda.