The Music Department is excited to welcome musicologist Dr. Elina Hamilton, whose research explores the history of music theory in fourteenth-century England, as Assistant Professor of Musicology. Before arriving in Hawaiʻi, Dr. Hamilton taught courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She is also an editorial board member of the East Asian Journal of Popular Music and was recently featured on the blog maintained by the Committee on the Status of Women for the Society of Music Theory.
In her first semester teaching at UH Mānoa, Dr. Hamilton has already incorporated innovative teaching strategies that invigorate and enrich her students’ learning experience. One such method utilizes a new YouTube trend known as “bardcore,” a new genre of music that involves musicians rearranging pop songs into a medieval style. Although “bardcore” is a new genre, Dr. Hamilton has already integrated it into her MUS 265 course by having her students find a pop song that they believe could be transformed into a medieval style. Dr. Hamilton was recently featured on PRIʻs nationally syndicated program “The World” discussing bardcore.
According to Dr. Hamilton, incorporating Medieval themes into aspects of contemporary culture has been a common occurrence throughout history. She explains that “the medieval world can be the otherworld escape that we long for when we want something different from the present. Artists, and then consumers, might turn to the medieval period repeatedly because they are wanting to escape from a world that is less desirable, or just need something that reminds us of a long-standing tradition.”
We are happy to welcome Dr. Hamilton to Hawaiʻi, and look forward to having her as a colleague and educator in our department.