Contact Info
Phone: 610-436-2739
Fax: 610-436-2873

Julian Onderdonk

Julian Onderdonk

Professor - Music Theory, History & Composition

Department of Music History
Room 236, Swope Music Building


Ph.D. New York University
M.A., New York University
B.A., Bowdoin College

Thoughts on SOM

The School of Music offers a first-rate education for all students regardless of class or income. This is its geat strength. The varied backgrounds and evident camaraderie of the students, the quality of the faculty, and the sheer volume of music-making opportunities make the SOM a superb training-ground for music professionals.

Curriculum Vitae

Julian Onderdonk joined the School of Music faculty in Fall, 2001.  He studied music history with Robert Bailey, Edward Roesner and Ernest Sanders; jazz with Lewis Porter; and ethnomusicology with Kay Kaufman Shelemay and James Cowdery.  He has lectured on Ralph Vaughan Williams’s folksong collecting and hymn-tune arrangements and his essays have appeared in Folk Music Journal, Current Musicology, Notes, English Dance and Song, Vaughan Williams Studies (1996), Vaughan Williams Essays (2003), Strengthen for Service: 100 Years of the English Hymnal (2006), The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology (forthcoming), The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (forthcoming), and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Dr. Onderdonk received his Ph.D. in music history from New York University in 1998, and received a BA (magna cum laude) from Bowdoin College in 1986. Before coming to West Chester, he taught at Williams College, New York University, St. Francis University (Pa.), and in the Pennsylvania State University system. A 1992-1993 recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, he studied for a year in London.


Articles for The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, ed. J.R. Watson and Jeremy Dibble (Norwich, forthcoming 2013)

  • Sharp, Cecil
  • Shaw, Martin
  • Vaughan Williams, Ralph

The Composer and Society: Politics, Religion and Nation, in Alain Frogley and Aidan Thompson, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge forthcoming 2012)

 Folksong Arrangements, Hymn Tunes and Church Music, in Alain Frogley and Aidan Thompson, eds.,
The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge forthcoming 2012)

Vaughan Williams and the Musical Amateur: A Checklist of Miscellaneous Arrangements of English, British and Continental European Dances and Songs, in Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal 51 (2011), 10-19

Vaughan Williams and the Musical Amateur: A Checklist of English Folk Song Arrangements, in Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal 50 (2011), 15-22

Vaughan Williams and the Musical Amateur: A Checklist of English Carol Arrangements, in Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal 49 (2010), 3-10
Review of Nicholas Temperley, Studies in English Church Music, 1550-1900 in Music Library Association Notes 67/1 (2010), 110-112

Review of Hugh Cobbe, Letters of Ralph Vaughan Williams 1895-1958 in Music          Library Association Notes 66/1 (2009), 87-89

Review of Matthew Gelbart, The Invention of “Folk Music” and “Art Music”: Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner in Current Musicology 87 (2009), 207-217.

Review of David Manning, ed., Vaughan Williams on Music in Music Library Association Notes 62/2 (2008), 319-321.

Folk Songs and Hymn Tunes, English Dance and Song 68/3 (2006).

Folksongs in The English Hymnal, in Strengthen for Service: One Hundred Years of The English Hymnal 1906-2006, ed. Alan Luff (Norwich, 2005), 191-216.

Review of Simon Trezise, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Debussy, Music Library, Association Notes (2004), 236-238.

Review of Paul Rodmell, Charles Villiers Stanford, Music Library Association Notes (2004), 135-137.

Hymn Tunes from Folk Songs: Vaughan Williams and English Hymnody, in Byron Adams and Robin Wells, eds., Ralph Vaughan Williams Essays (Aldershot, 2003), 103-128.

Review of Charles Edward McGuire, Elgar's Oratorios: The Creation of an Epic Narrative, Music Library Association Notes (2003), 158-160.

Review of Alain Frogley, Vaughan Williams's Ninth Symphony and Simon Heffer's Vaughan Williams, Music Library Association Notes (2002), 350-352.

The Revised (1904) Version of the Folk Song Society's Hints to Collectors, English Dance and Song 62/3 (2000), 21-25.

Article for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, revised edition (London, Macmillan, 2001):
Shaw, Martin

Vaughan Williams and the Modes, Folk Music Journal 7/5 (1999), 609-26.

Article for Reader's Guide to Music: History, Theory, and Criticism (Chicago and London, 1999):
Vaughan Williams. Ralph

Vaughan Williams's Folksong Transcriptions: A Case of Idealization? in Alain Frogley, ed., Vaughan Williams Studies (Cambridge, 1996), 118-38.

Review of Robert Stradling and Meirion Hughes, The English Musical Renaissance: Construction and Deconstruction, Music Library Association Notes (1995), 63-6.

Review of Michael Hurd, Rutland Boughton and the Glastonbury Festivals, Music Library Association Notes (1995), 108-9.

Review of Ralph Scott Grover, The Music of Edmund Rubbra, Music Library Association Notes (1994), 152-3.

Review of Lewis Foreman, ed., Farewell, My Youth and Other Writings by Arnold Bax, Music Library Association Notes (1993), 595-6.


Unpublished Papers
“‘Roll Over Vaughn [sic] Williams’: Richard Thompson and the Predicament of “Electric Folk,” presented at the Fourth Biennial Conference of the North American British Music Studies Association, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, July 2010

“Vaughan Williams and German Romantic Aesthetics,” presented at Ralph Vaughan  Williams 1872-1958): Fifty Years On, one-day conference, The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, November 2008

“Folksong, English Hymnody, and Bach’s Chorales: Ralph Vaughan Williams and ‘the Greatest of All Musicians,’” presented at the Second Biennial Conference of the North  American British Music Studies Association, St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont., August 2006

“Vaughan Williams and the Austro-German Tradition: Tonal Pairing and Directional Tonality in A Sea Symphony,” presented at annual national meeting of the American Musicological Society, Columbus, Ohio, November 2002

“Vaughan Williams’s Hymn-Tune Settings from Folksong,” presented at regional meeting of the American Musicology Society, Boston, March 2001