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Research in Music Series: A Talk by Nicholas Shea

Nicholas Shea

Wed., Oct. 10 @ 12:20pm in the Old Chapel Conference Room (1st floor)

Research in Music Series: A Talk by Nicholas Shea
PhD candidate in music theory & member of the Cognitive Systematic Musicology Lab at Ohio State University

Instrumental Texture as Function in Popular Music

Harmony has been at the fore of analytical discourse on popular music, yet many analysts have implied that its role may be secondary or even tertiary. This paper departs on this premise, advocating that changes in texture - specifically as they occur via instruments that primarily convey harmonic information - are indicative of both formal and harmonic functional concerns. Models of keyboard and guitar performance are outlined and applied to popular music textures to demonstrate that, as both micro and macro formal boundaries are approached, functional shifts in texture typically occur.

Nicholas is an alumnus of UMass Amherst (Master of Music). For more information about his work, including links to analytical videos featured in presentations, see his website,