Mina Yang

Assistant Professor

Division: Scholarly and Professional Studies
Program: Musicology

Expertise: 20th and 21st Century Music
Instrument: American Music
Phone: (213) 740-7416
Email: minayang@usc.edu
Office: MUS 304A


Mina Yang received a BA in art history from Brown University, a
 master’s degree in piano performance from the New England Conservatory 
of Music, and a PhD in musicology from Yale University. An assistant professor at Thornton, she has taught at University of California, San Diego, San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of San Francisco. Her book California Polyphony: Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads (University of 
Illinois Press, 2008) examines the intersection of racial politics and
 musical developments in the West. Her articles have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, and she has served on the program committees of the Society for American Music and Society for Ethnomusicology. Her second book, Planet Beethoven: Classical Music at the Turn of the Millennium, will be published by Wesleyan University Press in the fall of 2014. Her research interests include
 American and Pacific Rim music; popular culture and mass media; and 
politics, identity, and music.

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

  • Made solo piano debut with Honolulu Symphony at 14

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • NEH Summer Scholarship
  • USC Provost’s Fellowship
  • University of California Pacific Rim Research Grant
  • UCSD Academic Senate Grant
  • Mellon Grant


  • Pianist on “Winter,” Mode 3/6: The Complete John Cage Edition, Volume 2, Atlas Eclipticalis with Winter Music (Mode 2006)

Research Interests:

  • Classical music and postmodernism
  • Asian American culture
  • Music, identity, and place
  • Popular music and politics
  • 21st century musical practices



  • Planet Beethoven: Classical Music at the Turn of the Millennium (forthcoming, Wesleyan University Press, 2014).
  • Guest editor, with Gerald Early and Patrick Burke, Special Issue on American Music, Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 124, no. 4 (Fall 2013).
  • California Polyphony: Ethnic Voices, Musical Crossroads (University of Illinois Press, 2008).


  • “Asian Music in America,” Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History, ed. by Edward Park and Xiaojian Zhao (Santa Barbara, Calif.:  ABC-CLIO Press, 2013).
  • “Yellow Skin, White Masks,” Special Issue on American Music, Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences 124, no. 4 (Fall 2013):  24-37.
  • “Los Angeles:  Ethnic and Traditional Musics,”  in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • “Moulin Rouge! and the Undoing of Opera,” Cambridge Opera Journal 20, no. 3 (November 2008): 269-282.
  • “East Meets West in the Concert Hall: Asians and Classical Music in the Century of Imperialism, Post-Colonialism, and Multiculturalism,” Asian Music 38, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2007): 1-30.
  • “Für Elise Circa 2000: Postmodern Readings of Beethoven in Popular Contexts,” Popular Music and Society 29, no. 1 (February 2006): 1-15.
  • “A Thin Blue Line Down Central Avenue: The LAPD and the Demise of a Musical Hub,” Black Music Research Journal 21, no. 2 (Fall 2002): 217-239.

Academic degrees

  • Ph.D, Yale University
  • MM, New England Conservatory
  • BA, Brown University

Studied with:

Randall Hodgkinson (piano); Louis Krasner, Paul Hersh (chamber music)