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Hilde Binford

Hilde BinfordChair of the Department of Music
Associate Professor of Music (2001)

  • B.A., M.M., Rice University
  • Ph.D., Stanford University

Email: hbinford@moravian.edu
Phone: 610-861-1691
Office: Hurd Campus, Brethren's House, Room 302
Blog: MoravianCollegeAtUNFCCC.blogspot.com

Areas of Research and/or Expertise

Western Plainchant; Music of the Old Order Amish; Western music history, especially Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods; Traditional American music.


Hilde Binford received her BA in history and Master of Music in music history from Rice University. She then went to Stanford University, where she earned a PhD in musicology. Her dissertation was on Aquitanian introit tropes. Since then, her research has expanded to the music of the Old Order Amish. In the summer of 2005, she was the co-director of the first NEH Institute for Schoolteachers on "Bach Across the Centuries." She continues to present papers at national and international conferences, develop new interdisciplinary courses, and coordinate the biennial conference on Moravian music. When she has time, she plays the fiddle in a contra-dance band and viol da gamba.

In her personal life, Dr. Binford spends her free time traveling with her two sons, Trent and Alex. Together, they have camped in the wetlands of Brazil, stayed in yurts and wigwams in the Canadian wilderness (during winter!), and volunteered in a poor Guatemalan community. She continues to take courses herself -- most recently in math, photography and magic.

Recent Activities of Note


  • "Gulf Oil Disaster Shows Need for National Clean Energy Policy," an op-ed by Hilde Binford, associate professor of music history, and Ed Perry, National Wildlife Federation outreach coordinator, appeared in the Morning Call, May 20, 2010.


  • Moravian College has received a grant of $147,618 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support another Institute on J.S. Bach. The funding will allow twenty-five K-12 teachers (from several disciplines) to spend a month during the summer of 2010 in Germany studying the life and work of J. S. Bach. Hilde Binford, associate professor of music and co-director of the Institute, co-wrote the grant with Sue Schamberger, director of foundation relations.
  • While in Ireland this summer, Professor Binford attended a two-week course on traditional music at the University of Limerick. She also conducted field research in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, where she studied the Gaelic Psalm singing tradition.
  • Hilde Binford, associate professor of music, presented two papers while in Europe this summer. On June 18, 2009, in Poland, she presented "Old Order Amish Hymn Traditions" as a guest speaker at the University of Wroclaw and Ethnographic Museum. On July 10, 2009, in Amsterdam, she presented "'A Handy Size for Practicing the Notes When You're Plowing in the Back Forty': The Use of Notation in the Oral Traditions of the Old Order Amish and the Old Colony Mennonites." The presentation was given for the International Musicology Society.