Faculty Profile

Blake Wilson

Professor of Music (1993)

Contact Information


Weiss Center for the Arts Room 210


Blake Wilson teaches courses in music history, film music, and directs the Dickinson Collegium. Both as performer and scholar, he specializes in music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, and his research interests include the music of renaissance Italy (especially Florence), performance practice, compositional process, and the relationship between music and other disciplines (rhetoric, poetry, visual art). His current work concerns the interaction of oral and written musical traditions in the culture of Renaissance Florence, the early madrigal, and the works of Heinrich Isaac (the primary recipient of Medici musical patronage).


  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1978
  • M.M., Indiana University, 1982
  • Ph.D., 1987

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

MUEN 009 Collegium Musicum
Admission to all department ensembles is by audition at the beginning of the academic year or by permission of the director. Instrumental ensembles meet once a week for 2 to 2 1/2 hours each. Choral ensembles meet twice a week for 1 to 1 1/4 hours each. Credit for participation in department ensembles is noted on participants' transcripts.

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

MUAC 352 J.S. Bach and His World
The vocal and instrumental compositions of Bach represent one of the greatest achievements of Western culture. Bach's output as a composer was strongly conditioned by the specific conditions under which he worked, and these conditions changed often as the restless and experimental young Bach became dissatisfied with one position after another, and sought ever more advantageous circumstances. Through close reading of secondary sources, and analysis of primary documents and scores, this course tracks Bach's odyssey as a composer, performer and teacher within the shifting matrix of political, religious, cultural, and personal conditions of his life.