Elina G. Hamilton

Assistant Professor of Core Studies
Affiliated Departments

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As a historian, I strive to provide an opportunity for my students to find new ways of thinking about music, past and present, and how it relates to our modern world.

Elina G. Hamilton joined the Conservatory in 2014 and is an assistant professor of core studies specializing in music history.

Hamilton is a musicologist who specializes in the history of music theory in the Middle Ages. Her doctoral research examined the intellectual context of English music theory in the 14th century. Her research has been presented at numerous institutions including Oxford University, Princeton University, Charles University (Prague), MIT, and Yale. Her research has also been published in leading journals and edited volumes of the field.

Aside from her interest in music of the distant past, Hamilton is an avid supporter of the performance of new music: she has performed with the London-based vocal ensemble Vocal Constructivists and held the position of festival manager for the Bangor New Music Festival in Bangor, Wales. 

Hamilton began her music education as a pianist, earning a B.M. in piano performance (magna cum laude) from Portland State University in Oregon. Fascinated by the origin of Western music notation and the old manuscripts that contain their history, she continued her education in the United Kingdom, receiving her M.A. with distinction from Bangor University. Her doctoral studies were fully funded by the 125th Anniversary Scholarship at Bangor University where she also earned her Ph.D. in 2015. She is the recipient of the Draper Medal from the Worshipful Company of Drapers in London. 

Hamilton enjoys traveling to new places, has lived in three countries, and is fluent in Japanese.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Berklee Faculty Fellowship for archival research in Europe (Berklee College of Music, 2017)
  • Drapers’ Company Bronze Medal for Outstanding Postgraduate (London, 2012)

Notable Recent Works

  • "The Unique Patroness: Louise Hanson-Dyer and Her Letters to the Library of Congress, 1936-52," Notes, vol. 73, no. 4 (June, 2017), 631-657.
  • "Walter Odington (Walter of Evesham Abbey), De speculatione musicae," Lexikon Schriften über Musik, Band 1: Musiktheorie von der Antike bis zur Gegenward (Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag Karl Vötterle GmbH & Co. KG, 2017), 357.
  • "The Queen is a Doctor of Musicology?" Musicology Now, Dec. 7, 2016.
  • "Walter of Evesham’s De speculatione musicae: Authority of Music Theory in Medieval England," Musica Disciplina 58 (2013): 153-166.
  • "The First Translation of the Scolica enchiriadis into Japanese: A Worthless Exercise," in The Soul of Wit: Micro-Festschrift Rob Wegman zum 50. Geburstag, ed. Michael Scott Cuthbert (2011), fol. 28r.