william purse

William Purse

Chair of Contemporary Music Media and Jazz; Professor, Music Technology and Guitar
Mary Pappert School of Music
Guitar, Music Technology

School of Music, Room 313
Phone: 412.396.5866


M.M., Guitar Performance/Composition, Duquesne University, 1987
B.M., Guitar Performance, Duquesne University, 1981

Bill Purse is a full professor of Music Technology and Guitar, chair of Contemporary Music Media and Jazz department at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), where he was instrumental in the development of two new majors: undergraduate music technology degree and graduate music technology degree programs. Purse received his bachelor of music and master of music at Duquesne University, as well as an EduCom (Education Communication) grant for study with Dr. Carol Lennox at Mills College; multimedia development in 1990. Additionally, Purse has studied privately with Howard Massey at the Center for Electronic Music in New York City, and with guitar virtuoso Pat Martino. Purse has received Duquesne University's 1996 Presidents award for excellence in scholarship and a 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award for guitar pedagogy and performance. He is also an honored member of the Lexington Who's Who and was initiated into the Duquesne University Office of Research's Hall of Fame in 2008.

Purse is the chair emeritus of the NAfME/NAMM/GAMA (National Association for Music Educators / National Association of Music Merchants / Guitar / Accessories Marketing Association) Teaching Guitar Workshops, which was created in 1995 to revitalize classroom guitar in K-12 education. This successful organization has retrained more than 5,200 teachers, who in turn have taught more than 1,780,000 young guitarists. Purse is also the editor of the NAfME publication "Strategies for Teaching Guitar in Middle and High School."

Purse has pioneered the use of interactive multimedia, distance learning, MIDI/hard disk recording, and desktop music publication for his classroom and private teaching at Duquesne University. He has specialized in developing publications for mastering guitar and music technology such as the Warner Brothers, Ultimate Beginner Tech Start Series(tm): Home Recording Basics, Warner Bros. 21st Century Guitar Ensemble Arrangements for Europa and Classical Gas. And in addition co-authored Sound Innovations Guitar Method Book 1 and Book 2 (also the Teacher Editions) with Aaron Stang (Alfred) and also Guitar Expressions. Purse is also the author of the highly acclaimed primer series for Coda Music's Finale family: The NotePad Primer, The PrintMusic! Primer and The Finale Primer 2014 published by Alfred, and one of his original jazz compositions "Rainforest" is featured in Mel Bay's "Master Anthology of Jazz Solos Volume Two: Featuring Solos by the World's Finest Jazz Guitarists!"