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Skidmore College
Music Department
Sarah Day-O'Connell

Sarah Day-O’Connell

Associate Professor

Office: Zankel Music Center 121
Phone: (518) 580-5343


  • Ph.D., Musicology, with Minor in Gender Studies, Cornell University
  • B.Mus., Music History and Piano Performance, Oberlin College


In my research I combine musical analysis with interpretation of literary, visual, and material culture in order to explore how musical activity, especially singing, reflects and shapes broader social concerns – in particular, about gender and politics.  I also examine transcriptions, “covers,” recordings, theories of performance, criticism, and listener reception because I’m interested in how music, through performance, changes meaning across times and cultures.


Music history and historiography; music and culture; late eighteenth-century music and aesthetics, gender and music; translation studies; music and medicine, faith, and healing; musical authorship/borrowing/plagiarism/copyright; opera; flamenco; Caribbean steelband; Japanese taiko drumming; American shape-note singing; music about trains.


Edited Book

Articles and Chapters


  • Pauline Alderman Award for Outstanding Scholarship on Women and Music, International Alliance for Women in Music, 2011
  • Alternate, Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Association of University Women (AAUW), 2010-2011
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Fall 2009 and Fall 2010
  • Winner, Innovative Course Design Competition, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2009
  • Edison Fellowship, Sound Archive, British Library, London, 2007-2008
  • Dissertation Prize, Gender Studies Program, Cornell University, 2002
  • Buttrick-Crippen Fellowship, John S. Knight Writing Program, Cornell University, 2000-2001


  • “I Say Symphony Rather Than Cacophony: In the Music History Classroom When Your Students Would Rather Be Protesting, Organizing, and Advocating.” Teaching Music History, Pedagogy Study Group of the American Musicological Society, Berklee College of Music, Boston, June 2017.
  • “Faculty-Student Collaborative Research in Musicology: What, Why, How.” Teaching Music History, Pedagogy Study Group of the American Musicological Society, Metropolitan State University, Denver, June 2016.
  • “Creative Fidelity: Insights on Musical Performance via Translation Theory.” Performance Studies Network Third International Conference, University of Cambridge, July 2014.
  • “Singing as Translation: A ‘New Fidelity’ Approach to Performance and Meaning in Joseph Haydn’s Canzonettas.”  American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Williamsburg (Virginia), March 2014.
  • “Origins and Journeys of Haydn’s English Canzonetta ‘The Wanderer.’”  American Musicological Society, San Francisco, November 2011.
  • “‘Daughter of Sorrow’: Feminine Exile and Joseph Haydn’s ‘The Wanderer.’” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vancouver, March 2011.
  • “‘Lost in the Past, Disregarding Tomorrow’: Journeys and Destinations of Haydn’s ‘The Wanderer.’” Works-in-Progress Series, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, October 2010.
  • “Four Fidelities: Musicology Meets Translation Studies.”  Seminar series in “Translations, Adaptations, and Modalities,” Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, November 2009.
  • “Time and Pastime in Songs of Haydn’s London.” Institute of Musical Research, University of London School of Advanced Study, January 2009.
  • “Haydn’s Canzonettas on Record.” Studies in Recorded Music Seminar Series, British Library, London, January 2009.
  • “‘The Clock Points its Moral to the Heart’: Time and Memory in Haydn’s English Canzonettas,” Zyklus und Prozess: Haydn und die Zeit, held at Institut für Analyse, Theorie und Geschichte der Musik, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, January 2009.