A specialist in the history of music and music theory in the ancient worlds and the Middle Ages, Thomas Mathiesen was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
He has received fellowships and grants from the NEH (1985, 1992, and 1994), the Guggenheim Foundation (1990), and the American Council of Learned Societies (1977). Professor Mathiesen is a recipient of the Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society; the Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory; three Deems Taylor Awards from ASCAP; and the Vincent Duckles Award from the Music Library Association.
He has written books and articles concentrating on Greek codicology, organology, translations, editions of early Greek and Byzantine music sources, the theory of textual criticism, bibliography, and music for silent films. His writings have been published by Cambridge University Press, Yale University Press, University of Nebraska Press, W.W. Norton, G. Henle Verlag, and in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, The Oxford Companion to Music, Acta musicologica, Journal of Musicology, Music Theory Spectrum, Journal of Music Theory, Indiana Theory Review, and several Festschriften and Congressional reports.
He is founder and former director of the Indiana University Center for the History of Music theory and Literature.