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Theory News & Research

The music theory faculty have been active presenting their research at international conferences, publishing articles, book chapters, and reviews, and serving their discipline as editors, workshop leaders, and podcasters.


Owen Belcher
            Owen Belcher

This November, three faculty will present work at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in San Antonio, TX:

  • Owen Belcher, “The Riemannian Klangnetz, the Doppelklang, and Their Applications” with co-author Alan Reese (Cleveland Institute of Music), part of a session dedicated to neo-Riemannian theory;
  • Jason Hooper, “Private Correspondence, Public Influence: Heinrich Schenker in Dialogue with August Halm,” part of a special session titled "Schenker’s Traces and the History of Music Theory;"
  • Gary S. Karpinski, “A Cognitive Basis for Choosing a Solmization System,” part of a session sponsored by the SMT Pedagogy Interest Group titled "Rethinking Aural Skills Instruction through Cognitive Research."

UMass is also well represented in the fall issue of Music Theory Spectrum:

  • Christopher Wm. White, with co-author Ian Quinn (Yale University), “Chord Context and Harmonic Function in Tonal Music”;
  • Jason Hooper, review of "Beethoven’s Last Piano Sonatas: An Edition with Elucidation," 4 vols., by Heinrich Schenker, trans. and ed. John Rothgeb.

Brent Auerbach has a chapter on teaching harmonic sequences and Gary Karpinski has a chapter on solmization and modulation forthcoming in the Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy edited by Leigh VanHandel.


In July two faculty members presented their research at a joint conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM) and the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC):

  • Gary S. Karpinski (with Sigrun Heinzelmann, Universität Mozarteum Salzburg), “Diagnostic Assessment of Aural Skills Based on Cognitive Principles: Placement Testing and Curricular Ramifications”;
  • Christopher Wm. White (with Dakota Gill and Nicholas Shea), “Some Influences of Chord Progressions on Accent.”

In June, Christopher Wm. White’s article “Feedback and Feedforward Models of Music Key” appeared in Music Theory Online.

In March, Brent Auerbach presented “‘But It was Home:’ Marvin Hamlisch’s ‘At the Ballet’ Forges a Family through Text, Motive, Form, and Dance" at the International Conference on Opera and Musical Theater in the United States.


Christopher Wm. White
          Christopher Wm. White

And the theory faculty will continue serving their discipline in a variety of ways: