A native of San Francisco, Mann studied piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as a child and continues to play jazz piano at Vassar and elsewhere.
His central scholarly interest is vocal music of the Italian Renaissance. He is the author of a monograph (UMI Press, 1983) on the secular madrigals of the Flemish composer Filippo di Monte (1521-1603), whose music he has also edited for the Complete Works (University of Leuven Press, 1988). His researches at the Jagellonian Library in Cracow (Poland) brought to light a surprising number of unique sixteenth- and seventeeth-century publications hitherto presumed to have been lost; the results of his researches were published in Music Library Association Notes (1992). In 1994 his edition of the ensemble music of Italian composer Paolo Quagliati appeared (Garland Press). In 2002, his edition of the madrigals of Michelangelo Rossi (1601-1656) was published in the Monuments of Renaissance Music series (University of Chicago Press). He has now returned to the madrigals of Filippo di Monte, and is at work on edition of the Tenth Book for Five Voices (1581) to be published in the Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance series (A-R Editions). In addition to his work in the field of Renaissance polyphony, Mann has written about the life and works of Veneuzuelan-born pianist Teresa Carreno (1853-1917). (The Vassar College Library Special Collections preserves a remarkable body of materials documenting her lengthy career.) Mann has been a member of the Vassar faculty since 1987.