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Peter Lefferts
Professor of Music History
(402) 472-2507

Peter M. Lefferts is professor of music history in the School of Music of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his teaching responsibilities span the broad range from introductory courses in listening for freshman non-majors and courses in music history and theory for undergraduate majors to doctoral seminars in performance practice. This semester he is stepping down as head of the Division of History/Theory/Composition after serving in that role for seventeen years, and he has also recently finished serving a term as the Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at UNL.

As an author and editor, Lefferts‘s areas of research specialization include medieval and Renaissance English music, the medieval motet, early music notation, early music theory in Latin and English, the tonal behavior of 14th and 15th century songs, and the relationship between church architecture and liturgy. Dr. Lefferts is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature at Indiana University. At UNL he directs the web-based project entitled Texts on Music in English from the Medieval and Early Modern Eras (TME), which is found on-line at, and he also runs a project center of the Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (TML). Dr. Lefferts was an associate editor for Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, with responsibility for all entries on music and liturgy. He has also contributed articles to revised versions of The New Grove Dictionary of Music, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and to the new Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. A fresh research area for him since 2002 has involved a topic in local Nebraska history, which is the role of music at the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition held in Omaha from June-October 1898. Professor Lefferts has lectured and published extensively in North America and Europe.

Dr. Lefferts was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Rochester, New York. He holds the B.A., M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. degrees, all from Columbia University. Before coming to Lincoln to join the faculty of UNL he taught at Columbia University and the University of Chicago.