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Brooklyn-born musicologist Barbara Russano Hanning, a graduate of Barnard (BA) and Yale (PhD), is professor emeritus at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she taught seminars on madrigal, early opera, Monteverdi, musical iconography, and other topics as well as classes in music history, bibliography and research techniques, and writing about music.

Hanning is author of a book on the beginnings of opera, Of Poetry and Music’s Power (Ann Arbor, 1980), and articles and reviews on 16th- and 17th-century Italian secular music, iconography in music, and 18th-century French subjects. Norton publishes her widely used college textbook, Concise History of Western Music, now in its fifth edition. Her work appears in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Renaissance Quarterly, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, Music in Art, Oxford Bibliographies Online, and in several edited collections including Musical Humanism and Its Legacy, a group of essays for her mentor Claude Palisca, which she also co-edited (Pendragon, 1992); the Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music (Cambridge University Press, 2005); and Word, Image, and Song (Rochester University Press, 2013).

She has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and presented papers at the annual meetings of the Renaissance Society of America and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, and at conferences in Denmark and Italy. A founding member of the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, Hanning served as its first elected president (1993-97) and was made an honorary member in 2012. She also serves on the board of ARTEK, a New-York-based early music ensemble, for which she occasionally gives preconcert talks.