Music Theory at Columbia

Music Theory Faculty Members

Joseph Dubiel
Professor of Music
Chair, Music Theory Area, 2013-14
 
Ellie M. Hisama
Professor of Music
 
Mariusz Kozak
Assistant Professor of Music
 
Benjamin Steege
Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Undergraduate Music Theory

 

Programs Offered

MA, PhD, undergraduate courses and lessons

 

Current Graduate Students in Music Theory

Eamonn Bell

Galen DeGraf

Dan DiPaolo (Thesis: "Analyzing the Music of Steely Dan")

Marc Hannaford

Benjamin Hansberry

Kate Heidemann (Thesis: "Hearing Women's Voices in Popular Song: Analyzing Sound and Identity in Country and Soul")

Orit Hilewicz

Will Mason

Caleb Mutch (Thesis: "A History of Cadence in Tonality and Its Precedents")

Mark Saccomano

Max Schmeder (Thesis: "Thirty-Three Miniature Dialectics: Hegelian Philosophy vis-a-vis Beethoven's 'Diabelli' Variations, Op. 120")

Maeve Sterbenz

 

Recently Defended Theses

Scott Gleason, "Princeton Theory's Problematics" (2013)

Victoria Tzotzkova, "Theorizing Pianistic Performance: Tradition, Instrument, Performer" (2012)

Justin Hoffman, "Listening with Two Ears: Conflicting Perceptions of Space in Tonal Music" (2011)

Olaf Post, "'The Way These People Can Just Listen!': Inquiries about the Mahler Tradition in the Concertgebouw" (2009)

Paul Sheehan, "Twelve-Tone Entities, Inquisitorial Mind, and the Network Model of the Multitude: Analyzing Luigi Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero" (2008)

Columbia theorists currently hold positions at Washington University (Paul Steinbeck, PhD '08), Rutgers University (Christopher Doll, PhD '07), University of Alberta (Maryam Moshaver, PhD '06), Kunitachi College of Music (Cathy Cox, PhD '06), Carnegie Mellon University (John Ito, PhD '04), University of Arkansas (Elizabeth Margulis, PhD '03), Hong Kong University (Youn Kim, PhD '03), Cleveland Institute of Music (Diane Urista, PhD '01), New York University (Martin Scherzinger, PhD '01, and Marilyn Nonken, PhD '99), Tamagawa University (Akira Takaoka, PhD '99), National Taiwan University (Yuh-Wen Wang, PhD '98), UC Santa Cruz (Paul Nauert, PhD '97), Eastman School of Music (David Temperley, PhD '96), University of Western Ontario (Kevin Mooney, PhD '96), and elsewhere.

 

Current and Recent Graduate Seminars

Advanced Analysis

Analysis of Popular Music

Debussy and Modernism

Gender/Sexuality/Music

Hip-Hop (Spring 2014)

Interdisciplinary and Humanistic Approaches to Music Theory: Representations of the Listener

Interdisciplinary and Humanistic Approaches to Music Theory: Semantics and Pragmatics of Analytical Description

Introduction to History of Theory

Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis

Introduction to Set Theory

Proseminar in Music Theory

Ruth Crawford Seeger

Theorizing Musical Temporality (Spring 2014)

 

Area News and Events

Columbia Theory Alumnus Christopher Doll (PhD 2007, Asst. Prof. Rutgers Univ.) presents the AMS/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lecture "The Unlikely History of Sixties Rock and Roll," Wed. 3/26 7PM, live streaming from the Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  More information here

FACULTY NEWS

Prof. Hisama will become Editor-in-Chief of Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture in 2013

Prof. Steege's book, Helmholtz and the Modern Listener was published with Cambridge University Press (2012).

 

PAST EVENTS

FOR FURTHER NEWS, SEE ATTACHMENT BELOW:

AttachmentSize
Recent Activities in Music Theory at Columbia (through Winter 2012)46.9 KB

News and Events in Music Theory

Instrumentation (MUSI W4525, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Instrumentation
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI W4525
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
Jeffrey Milarsky
Contact Instructor: 
jfm176@columbia.edu

Fall 2014
Music W4525

INSTRUMENTATION
Section 001 Call Number: 69864 Points: 3 
Day/Time: TR 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Jeffrey Milarsky (bio)

Analysis of instrumentation, with directional emphasis on usage, ranges, playing techniques, tone colors, characteristics, interactions and tendencies, all derived from the classic orchestral repertoire. Topics will include theoretical writings on the classical repertory as well as twentieth-century instrumentation and its advancement. Additional section will be provided with live orchestral demonstrations.

Prerequisite: Advanced music majors and extensive music background.

Prerequisites: 
Prerequisite: Advanced music majors and extensive music background. Permission of instructor.
Last Offered: 
Fall 2013
Last Offered: 
Offered annually in most years

Field Methods & Techniques in Ethnomusicology for Undergrads (MUSI G4401, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Field Methods and Techniques in Ethnomusicology
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI G4401
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
Aaron Fox (Fall 2014)
Contact Instructor: 
aaf19@columbia.edu

Fall 2014 
Music G4401
ETHNOMUSICOLOGICAL FIELD METHODS/TECHNIQUES (for undergraduates!)
Section 001 Call Number: 62038 Points: 3
Day/Time: T 4:10pm-6:00pm
Location: To be announced

Instructor: Prof. Aaron A. Fox (bio)

The goals of this course are practice-oriented. The end result will be short fieldwork-based project of approxiamtely 20 pages in length. In order to complete the paper, students will conduct fieldwork, read and synthesize relevant literatures, and think carefully about the questions in which they are interested and methods of addressing them through ethnographic inquiry.

This course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students in the junior or senior year only.  Permission of the instructor is required. Class size is limited to 12 students, with priority given to Barnard College Ethnomusicology majors and other Music major/concentrators.  Please contact Prof. Fox as soon as possible if you intend to register for this course. 

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor only.
Previous Instructors: 
Prof. Christopher Washburne
Last Offered: 
New for Fall 2012 (Prof. Washburne)
Last Offered: 
Fall 2013 (Prof. Fox)
Last Offered: 
Fall 2014 (Fox)

Ear Training V (MUSI W4318, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Ear Training V
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI W4318
Points/Credits: 
1
Instructor: 
Peter M. Susser
Contact Instructor: 
pms3@columbia.edu

Fall 2014
Music W4318
EAR TRAINING V
Section 001 Call Number: 18100 Points: 1
Day/Time: MW 12:10pm-1:00pm
Location: To be announced
Notes: CLOSED TO STUDENTS NEW TO EAR TRAINING SEQUENCE
Instructor: Peter M Susser

Advanced dictation, sight singing, and musicianship, with emphasis on 20th-century music.

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor, ET IV.
Last Offered: 
Annually in most years

Listening to Hip-Hop

Course Information

Course Title: 
Listening to Hip-Hop
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3395
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
Ellie Hisama

Fall 2014 Music V3395
LISTENING TO HIP-HOP

Section 001
Call Number: 24116 Points: 3 
Day/Time: MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Ellie Hisama

An interdisciplinary exploration of hip-hop music and culture from its beginnings to the present through historical, analytical, and critical perspectives. The course's primary focus will be on critical listening. Readings will help to situate particular pieces of music, artists, and genres within their cultural, political, and social contexts. Using through historical, analytical, and critical perspectives, we will examine hip-hop's complex relationships to politics, race, gender, sexuality, class, region, and diaspora as evident in performances, recordings, videos, films, and popular culture.

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor.
Last Offered: 
2012

Music Theory IV (MUSI V3322, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Music Theory IV (was "Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint II")
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3322
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
TBA
Contact Instructor: 
bas39@columbia.edu

Fall 2014 Music V3322
MUSIC THEORY IV (formerly "Chromativc Harmony and Counterpoint II")
Section 001
Call Number: 66270 Points: 3
Day/Time: MW 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA

 A one-hour weekly lab is required, to be scheduled at the beginning of the term. Prerequisites: V3321. Corequisites: One course from Ear-Training I-IV (V2314,V2315V3316, or V3317, as determined by placement exam.) Intermediate analysis and composition in a variety of tonal and extended tonal idioms. (Through Spring 2014, this course was entitled Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint II.)

 

 

Prerequisites: 
See description. Music majors have priority.
Last Offered: 
Every Semester

Music Theory III (MUSIV3321, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Music Theory III (was "Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint I")
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3321
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
Ellie Hisama (Section 1); Joseph Dubiel (Section 2)
Contact Instructor: 
eh2252@columbia.edu
Contact Instructor: 
jpd5@columbia.edu

Fall 2014 Music V3321
MUSIC THEORY III (Formerly "Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint I")
(2 Sections)

SECTION 001

Call Number: 77017 Points: 3 
Day/Time: MW 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Ellie Hisama
__________
SECTION 002 
Call Number: 25267 Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: Joseph P Dubiel

 A one-hour weekly lab is required, to be scheduled at the beginning of the term. 

Prerequisites: MUSI 
V2319. Corequisites: One course from Ear-training I-IV (V2314,V2315V3316, or V3317, as determined by placement exam.) Intermediate analysis and composition in a variety of tonal idioms. (Through Spring 2014, this course was entitled Chromatic Harmony and Counterpoint I.) Lab Required.

Prerequisites: 
See description.
Last Offered: 
Annual, Multiple Sections

Ear Training IV (MUSIV3317, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Ear Training IV
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3317
Points/Credits: 
1
Instructor: 
TBA
Contact Instructor: 
pms3@columbia.edu

Fall 2014 Music V3317
EAR-TRAINING IV


2 Sections:

SECTION 001
Call Number: 18670 Points: 1   Textbook Information
Day/Time: MW 4:10pm-5:00pm Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA
Notes: CLOSED TO STUDENTS NEW TO EAR TRAINING SEQUENCE

________________

SECTION 002
Call Number: 75387 Points: 1
Day/Time: TR 4:10pm-5:00pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA
Notes: CLOSED TO STUDENTS NEW TO EAR TRAINING SEQUENCE

Techniques of musicianship at the intermediate level, stressing the importance of musical nuances in sight-singing. Emphasis is placed on chromatically inflected four-part harmonic dictation.

Prerequisites: 
Ear Training III
Last Offered: 
Annual, Multiple Sections

Ear Training III (MUSIV3216, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Ear Training III
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3216
Points/Credits: 
1
Instructor: 
TBA
Contact Instructor: 
pms3@columbia.edu

Fall 2014 Music V3316
EAR-TRAINING III
(2 sections)


SECTION 001
Call Number: 12186 Points: 1   
Day/Time: MW 3:10pm-4:00pm
Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA
Notes:  CLOSED TO STUDENTS NEW TO EAR TRAINING SEQUENCE
_______________
SECTION 002 
Call Number: 73831 Points: 1
Day/Time: TR 12:10pm-1:00pm 
Location: To be announced
Instructor: TBA
Notes: CLOSED TO STUDENTS NEW TO EAR TRAINING SEQUENCE

Sight-singing techniques of modulating diatonic melodies in simple, compound, or irregular meters that involve complex rhythmic patterns. Emphasis is placed on four-part harmonic dictation of modulating phrases.

 

Prerequisites: 
Ear-Training II or Placement Exam
Last Offered: 
Annual, Multiple Sections

20th Century Music (MUSI V3172, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
20th Century Music
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V3172
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
Prof. George Lewis
Contact Instructor: 
gl2140@columbia.edu

Fall 2014
Music V3172
20TH CENTURY MUSIC
Section 001
Call Number: 65591 Points: 3 
Day/Time: MW 10:10am-11:25am
Location: To be announced
Instructor: George Lewis (bio)

A multicultural survey of composers, improvisers, sounds, practices and social issues in the music of "the long 20th century." Engages form, technique, genre, style, canon, media reception, constructions of gender and race, cultural nationalisms, and the impact of transnationalism and globalization. Reading knowledge of music is very helpful but not required.

 

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor
Last Offered: 
Offered annually in the fall of most years

Music Theory II (MUSI V2319, Fall 2014)

Course Information

Course Title: 
Music Theory II
CU Directory Course Number: 
MUSI V2319
Points/Credits: 
3
Instructor: 
TBA
Contact Instructor: 
pms3@columbia.edu

MUSI V2319y
Music Theory II (formerly "Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint II")

Section 001 
Call Number: 12276 Points: 3
Day/Time: MW 1:10pm-2:25pm
Location: To be announced

Instructor: TBA
Notes: MUSIC MAJORS/CONCENTRATORS HAVE PRIORITY

A one-hour weekly lab is required, to be scheduled at the beginning of the term. Prerequisites: V2318. Corequisites: One course from Ear-Training I-IV (V2314,V2315V3316, or V3317, as determined by placement exam.) Elementary analysis and composition in a variety of tonal idioms. (Through Spring 2014, this course was entitled Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint II.)

 

Prerequisites: 
See course description.
Last Offered: 
Annual