Ralph Whyte earned his PhD in historical musicology from Columbia University in 2019 with a dissertation entitled “‘A Light in Sound, a Sound-like Power in Light’: Light and/as Music in the History of the Color Organ.” In this research, he has considered the intersection between music and historical theories of color, the history of musical instruments for light production ("color organs"), and music's importance to early twentieth-century light artists. He has spoken on these topics at numerous national and international conferences. An article of his on color organs is forthcoming in Keyboard Perspectives, and he has also published in Current Musicology.
Ralph began his education in the state sector in Scotland and at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he studied double bass, piano, and composition. He went on to receive a first-class bachelor's degree and master's degree with distinction from King's College, London.
Ralph has taught the Core Curriculum "Masterpieces of Western Music" course at Columbia regularly since 2014. In Spring 2018, he also taught a class he designed on the history and theory of Hollywood film music as a GSAS Teaching Scholar.