Gary Tomlinson is a musicologist with an interdisciplinary interest in the role of music in the culture of the Renaissance.
Drawing on his training as a musician, a musicologist, and a historian, Tomlinson studies the interaction of musical thought and culture. While maintaining a foundation in European traditions, his work has expanded outward to sketch a music history of global reach. In his book Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance (1986), he deals with the impact of literary forces on changing musical styles around 1600. His book Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others (1992) brings poststructuralist historical approaches to bear on sixteenth-century musical magic. In Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera (1999), he treats the connections of music drama to changing models of European subjectivity. He is also the author of The Singing of the New World: Essays on the Powers of Amerindian Music, 1500-1700 (2005), which concerns New World song and theories of European colonialism.
Tomlinson is the Annenberg Professor in the Humanities in the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tomlinson received a B.A. (1973) from Dartmouth College, and an M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1979) from the University of California, Berkeley.