Jake Cohen is a musicologist specializing in American classical music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as American rock music from the 1960s–present. All his work is generally concerned with how the intersection of place and music leads to new understandings of musicians, their works, society, and cultural geography. He earned his PhD in musicology from the Graduate Center, CUNY, in 2017 with a dissertation titled “Constructions of New England Identity and Place in American Music, 1885–1935.” This work examines how composers George Chadwick, Edward MacDowell, Charles Ives, and Carl Ruggles used myths and narratives of New England identity to reflect and articulate their sense of place. He also has presented papers and published essays on rock bands such as Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, and Phish, as well as work on contemporary composer John Luther Adams and environmentalism.
Jake has taught music history and music appreciation at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Rutgers University-Newark, Lehman College, Baruch College, and the University of Washington School of Music. He has presented papers at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, the National Communication Association, and IASPM-Canada; at the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association conference and the Ecomusicologies conference; and the biennial International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference. He has given invited lectures at Arizona State University, the University of Texas, the Hitchcock Institute for the Study of American Music, and the Pedagogy in the Environmental Humanities Symposium at Columbia University.