David Clem

Assistant Professor of Music History

Dr. David Clem is the part-time Assistant Professor of Music History at the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College. On the undergraduate level he teaches survey courses in the History of Western Music, Film Music, and American Popular Music. At the graduate level he teaches Research and Bibliography, various special topics seminars in Music History, and the MHUM seminar called Music, Worship, and Culture in Christian Perspective.

His dissertation, “O Fortuna and the Mythic Medieval: A Study in Multimedia Receptions,” completed under the direction of James Currie, builds on the work of Michael Long to explore the potential of register theory as an approach to the analysis of pre-existing music used in various multimedia contexts. Other research interests include the theory and history of musical multimedia, music and philosophy, and the application of linguistic models from semiotics and pragmatics to music. He regularly presents research at the Music and the Moving Image Conference held annually at NYU’s Steinhardt School. He has also delivered papers in various formats at the Society for American Music, and on the Houghton College Faculty Lecture Series.

In addition to his musicological research, David is active as a composer and violist in Western New York. He performs regularly as a section violist with the Southern Tier Symphony, and with the Houghton Symphony Orchestra. He also maintains connections with several Buffalo area ensembles: He played for 10 years as a section violist and served on the Conductor Search Committee for the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra; He also has had several works performed by the Amherst Chamber Ensembles, Inc., where he served for ten years as a section violist, for nine years as a Board Member, and two years as Board Chairman.


  • Ph.D. in Historical Musicology and Music Theory, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  • M.A. in Music History, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  • M.Mus. in Composition, Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College
  • B.Mus. in Composition, Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College


“Music, Magic, and the Intermedial Gap: Or How Music Aids the Adaptation Process in the Harry Potter Films,” appears in Harry Potter Intermedial: Untersuchungen zu den (Film-) Welten von Joanne K. Rowling, edited by Tobias Kuriwinkel (Konighausen & Neumann, 2014).

“Hope Against Fate or Fata Morgana: Music and Mythopoiesis in John Boorman’s Excalibur” in the Oxford Handbook on Music and Medievalism. edited by Stephen Meyer and Kristen Yri. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.

“Medievalism Goes Commercial: The Epic as Register in Contemporary Media” in the Oxford Handbook on Music and Advertising. edited by James Deaville, Ronald Rodman, and Siu-Lun Tan. New York: Oxford University Press, FORTHCOMING.

Pen Icon

Send Me
An Email

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.