Brian F. Wright, a specialist in the history of American popular music, joined the UNT faculty in 2019. He holds a Ph.D. in historical musicology from Case Western Reserve University and is a former research assistant for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archive. His research primarily focuses on the history of the electric bass in jazz, rock, country, and rhythm & blues, exploring issues such as authenticity, social stigma, amateur music-making, race, authorship, and popular music historiography.
His work has appeared in Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Jazz Perspectives, and Grove Music Online, as well as in Bass Player and Vintage Guitar Magazine. His current manuscript, The Bastard Instrument: A Cultural History of the Electric Bass, is under contract as part of the University of Michigan Press’s Tracking Pop series.
Dr. Wright’s research has been supported by a Charles Hamm Fellowship from the Society for American Music, a Berger-Carter Research Fellowship from the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, and a Fellowship from the West Virginia Humanities Council. As a graduate student, he also received the Society for American Music’s Mark Tucker Award.
At UNT, he has taught courses on the Beatles, popular music in Texas, musical instruments in American culture, and the history of rock, among others.