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Brian Moseley

Music theorist at the University at Buffalo.

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Week 1: Music Theory and Analysis

Music theory has existed for centuries. Though as a professional discipline in the United States music theory is only about 50 years old. In our seminar meeting this week, we discuss the discipline’s recent history, which has been shaped by a series of important events: first, the acceptance of music theory as a subject for graduate study in the 1960s–intially at Princeton, in 1962; and second, the emergence of the Society for Music Theory in 1977.

Our goal is to understand the forces that shape what music theory in America is today, and as we begin this seminar, outline the territory that we will explore this term.

David Carson Berry, with Sherman Van Solkema, “Theory,” in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, ed. Charles Hiroshi Garrett, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 8:169–79.

Patrick McCreless, “Rethinking Contemporary Music Theory.” In Keeping Score: Music, Disciplinarity, Culture, ed. David Schwarz and Anahid Kassabian. Charlottesvile: University of Virginia Press, 1997, 1-49.

Daniel Harrison, “A Story, an Apologia; And a Survey,” Intégral 14/15 (January 1, 2000): 29–37.

Robert Morris, “A Few Words on Music Theory, Analysis and about Yours Truly,” Intégral 14/15 (January 1, 2000): 37–48.

Kofi Agawu, “How We Got Out of Analysis, and How to Get Back In Again,” Music Analysis 23, no. 2–3 (2004): 267–86.

Marion A. Guck, “Analysis as Interpretation: Interaction, Intentionality, Invention,” Music Theory Spectrum 28, no. 2 (October 1, 2006): 191–209.