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Letter from the Director

Jason Mellard, faculty photo
Jason Mellard | Director, Center for Texas Music History

Founded in 1999 by Gary Hartman and Gregg Andrews, the Center for Texas Music History works to document, preserve, and celebrate the diverse musical heritage of the Lone Star State. From the country jazz of Bob Wills’s western swing to the pioneering electric guitar of T-Bone Walker, from Narciso Martinez’s conjunto accordion to Lydia Mendoza’s heartbreak songs, from Janis Joplin’s wail to DJ Screw’s mix tapes, few states—perhaps no state—has had the impact that Texas has had in American music.
The Center approaches these subjects as an educational endeavor. As a part of Texas State University’s history department, we offer a range of undergraduate courses and develop graduate research in order to train the next generation of music historians. We gather and publish the newest literature on Texas and Southwestern music in our annual Journal of Texas Music History and develop academic monographs, biographies, and oral histories through the John and Robin Dickson Book Series in Texas Music History at Texas A & M University Press. The Center also stages events with artists, scholars, and music professionals for students and the Central Texas community. You can find further information on each of these activities on this website, and we invite your continuing engagement and participation. This music, and this past, is a shared experience, and the best way to learn about its many diverse streams is to listen, together.

Jason Mellard