Marjorie Hirsch

Marjorie Hirsch

Professor of Music

Bernhard Music Center Rm 39
At Williams since 2001


B.A. Yale University (1982)
M.Phil. Yale University (1985)
Ph.D. Yale University, Music (1989)

Areas of Expertise

18th– and 19th-century music


Romantic Lieder

Narrative in music

Meaning in music

Myth and music

Franz Schubert



American Music (not offered 2021/22)


(not offered 2021/22)


Myth in Music (not offered 2021/22)


Storytelling in Music (not offered 2021/22)


The Romantic Generation (not offered 2021/22)


Music and Meaning
(not offered 2021/22)

Scholarship/Creative Work

Romantic Lieder and the Search for Lost Paradise (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Schubert’s Dramatic Lieder (Cambridge University Press, 1993).

“Gretchen abbandonata: The Lied as Aria,” in Drama in the Music of Franz Schubert (Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming).

“Schubert’s Reconciliation of Gothic and Classical Influences,” in Schubert’s Late Music in History and Theory, ed. Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

“Musical Remembering in Schubert’s Faust Settings,” in The Oxford Handbook of Faust in Music, ed. Lorna Fitzsimmons and Charles McKnight (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Review of Rita Steblin’s Beethoven in the Diaries of Johann Nepomuk ChotekNineteenth-Century Music Review 12 (2015): 375-79.

“’Mein Herz ist schwer’: Brahms, Geibel, and Late Romantic Nostalgia,” (in progress).

“Schubert’s schauerliche Lieder: From Gothic to Romantic” (in progress).

Review of Kristina Muxfeldt’s Vanishing Sensibilities: Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann (2012), in Journal of the American Musicological Society 66/2 (Summer 2013): 565-70.

“Mayrhofer, Schubert, and the Myth of ‘Vocal Memnon’” in Unknown Schubert, ed. Lorraine Byrne and Barbara Reul (Ashgate, 2008), 3-23.

“Mirrors, Memories, and Mirages: Songs-Within-Songs in Schubert’s Lieder,”
Journal of Musicological Research 26/1 (2007): 1-32.

“The Spiral Journey Back Home: Brahms’s ‘Heimweh’ Lieder,” Journal of Musicology 22/3 (Summer 2005): 454-89.

Review of Lorraine Byrne’s Schubert’s Goethe Settings. Music Library Association NOTES, 2004.

Review of Susan Youens’s Schubert, Müller, and Die schöne Müllerin. Music Library Association NOTES, 1998.

Current Committees

  • Winter Study Committee, Chair

Papers and Presentations:

Gretchen abbandonata: The Lied as Aria.” Invited paper delivered at “Schubert as Dramatist” International Conference, Oxford University, 2014.

“Music and Line.” Lecture delivered at the Interdisciplinary “Look at Line”
mini-symposium sponsored by the Art Department Class of 1960 Scholars, Williams College, 2014.

“Gothic Tales of Horror and the Music of Franz Schubert.” Lecture delivered in the Williams Faculty Lecture Series, 2012.

“Dangerous Music.” Lecture delivered at Williams College faculty Gaudino Forum on Danger, 2012.

“Mythic Confrontations in the Andantino from Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A Major, D. 959.” Invited paper delivered at ‘Schubert and Concepts of Late Style’ Conference, National University of Ireland Maynooth, 2011.

“Schubert’s Schauerballaden: From Gothic to Romantic.” Paper delivered at American Musicological Society (AMS) National Meeting, Indianapolis, IN, 2010.

“Longing for a Mythic Past in Geibel Settings by Brahms and Schumann.” Paper delivered at “Brahms and Nostalgia” conference, University of New Hampshire, 2008.

“Reanimating Antiquity: Wolf, Goethe, and ‘Anakreons Grab.’” Paper delivered at AMS National Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, 2006.

“Mayrhofer, Schubert, and the Myth of ‘Vocal Memnon.’” Paper delivered at “The Unknown Schubert: New Perspectives, New Insights” conference, Luther College, University of Regina, Regina, Canada, 2004.

“Brahms’s ‘Heimweh’ Lieder, Nostalgia for Childhood, and the Romantic Spiral.” Paper delivered at AMS New England Chapter Meeting, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 2003.

“Songs-Within-Songs, Romantic Self-consciousness, and Schubert’s Transformation of the Lied.” Paper delivered at AMS New England Chapter Meeting, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, 2002.

“Gute Ruh’, gute Ruh’!: Sleep and Death in Schubert’s Lullabies.” Paper delivered at AMS New York State – St. Lawrence Chapter Meeting, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, 1997.

“Schubert’s ‘Im Frühling’ (D. 882) and a Storm-Tossed Metaphor.” Paper delivered at AMS New York State – St. Lawrence Chapter Meeting, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, 1994.

“Schubert’s ‘Gruppe aus dem Tartarus’ (D.583) and Tableaux Vivants.” Paper delivered at AMS National Meeting, Cleveland, OH, 1985.