- Division:Scholarly and Professional Studies
Andrew Cashner is a musician and scholar of music, specializing in devotional music of early modern Mexico and Spain. His research examines how people have used music to express and enact their religious beliefs.
His current book project is a study of “music about music” in villancicos, a genre of vernacular devotional music from seventeenth-century Mexico and Spain. These “metamusical” villancicos — such as pieces about heavenly and angelic music, the harmony of the spheres, and representations of human singing and dancing — reveal how Hispanic Catholics understood music’s power in the relationship between hearing and faith.
Cashner performs regularly on piano, organ, and harpsichord and enjoys collaboration and improvisation across a broad stylistic range. His compositions include choral music, songs, and solo piano pieces.
Cashner received a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2015, with the dissertation “Faith, Hearing, and the Power of Music in Hispanic Villancicos, 1660–1700”. He received a Master of Sacred Music degree with emphasis in organ performance from the University of Notre Dame in 2009, and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Lawrence University in 2003. Cashner also studied piano at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Honors, Awards & Competitions:
- Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2014
- Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, US Department of Education, 2010-2013
- Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship, Center for European Studies at Columbia University, 2012
- Eugene K. Wolf Research Travel Grant, American Musicological Society, 2012
- “Playing Cards at the Eucharistic Table: Music, Theology, and Society in a Corpus Christi Villancico from Colonial Mexico, 1628,” Journal of Early Modern History, vol. 18, no. 4 (2014), 383-419