MacArthur Fellows Program

Peter Jeffery

Musicologist | Class of 1987

Newark, Delaware
34 at time of award
Published July 1, 1987

About Peter's Work

Peter Jeffery, a musicologist, has contributed to the study of the early music of Europe and the Middle East.

Jeffery studies medieval Latin liturgy, as well as musical and textual paleography, to help reveal the origins of Gregorian chant.  He is also an expert on early Roman, Byzantine, Coptic, and Ethiopian Christian plainchant, and patristic and ancient Jewish music.  His application of ethnomusicology and anthropology to problems connected with early liturgical-musical practice has affected chant research.  He is the author of Re-Envisioning Past Musical Cultures: Ethnomusicology in the Study of Gregorian Chant (1992) and is co-authoring a three-volume work, to be entitled Ethiopian Christian Liturgical Chant: An Anthology.


Jeffery held a teaching appointment at the University of Delaware (1984-93) and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University (1990-92) and Boston College (1992-93).  Since 1993, Jeffery has been a professor in the Department of Music at Princeton University.

Jeffery received a B.A. (1975) from the City University of New York, and an M.F.A. (1977) and a Ph.D. (1980) from Princeton University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Peter Jeffery
September 3, 2014
"Aural Architecture: Peter Jeffery"
Stanford ICA
Peter Jeffery , 1987 MacArthur Fellow
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