Emerging Scholar Awards

The Music Theory Society of New York State is delighted to announce that Marc Hannaford and Catrina Kim received the 2023 Emerging Scholar Award (Article) for their essays in volume 46 (2021) of Theory and Practice.

Marc E. Hannaford, “Fugitive music theory and George Russell’s theory of tonal gravity,” Theory and Practice, 46 (2021): 47–82.

Catrina Kim, “Issues in teaching music theory ethically: Reframing university directives of antiracist and decolonized curricula,” Theory and Practice, 46 (2021): 23–45.

The volume was guest edited by Ellie M. Hisama and Rachel Lumsden. Congratulations Catrina and Marc!

2024 Conference

MTSNYS 2024 Annual Meeting

The 2024 Conference of the Music Theory Society of New York State will take place April 6–7, 2024, at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.

Registration for the 2024 MTSNYS Annual Meeting is available through the MTSNYS User Dashboard on the MTSNYS website. You’ll be asked to complete a Google Form and pay via PayPal. Please note that your registration is not complete until both the Google Form and PayPal payment have been submitted.

The conference program appears below and the program booklet is available at this link.

Supplementary materials provided by conference presenters are available at this link.

Other conference information is available on the Conference Information page.

MTSNYS was established in 1971 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas pertaining to teaching music theory, and to promote music theory as a scholarly and pedagogical discipline. We honor those ideals with the Patricia Carpenter Emerging Scholar Award. This award is given to the best student paper at the annual meeting, and it carries a cash prize and invitation to publish the paper in the society’s journal Theory and Practice.

Conference Program


8:30–9:30 am: Registration, coffee, breakfast

9:30–11:00 am:

Session A1: American Histories
Charity Lofthouse (Hobart & William Smith Colleges), Chair

  • Sam Reenan (Miami University): “Supplementary Counterpoint in the ‘Gaelic’ Symphony: Beach’s Compositional Self-Advocacy”
  • Jacob Eichhorn (Eastman School of Music): “Twelve-Tone as Topic in Postwar American Tonal Music: Cold War Politics and Postmodern Irony”
  • Lauren Shepherd (Columbia University): “‘To the Tune o’ Those Weary Blues’: Worrying the Line and Migration Tonality in Dorothy Rudd Moore’s Weary Blues”

Session B1: Corpus Studies
Yayoi Everett (City University of New York, Hunter College), Chair

  • Andrew Blake (Eastman School of Music): “Probability and Information Flow in Jazz Improvisation”
  • Evan Martschenko (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music): “‘Feel the Emptiness’: Micro-Schemata in the Music of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki”
  • David Temperley (Eastman School of Music): “The Flatward Shift in Popular Music”

11:00–11:15 am: Break

11:15 am–12:15 pm:

Session A2: Bach
Sarah Marlowe (Eastman School of Music), Chair

  • Mark Anson-Cartwright (Queens College, CUNY): “Counterpoint in the Goldberg Variations: A Comparative Study”
  • Jack Lucentini (Independent Scholar): “Reconciling Two Traditional Strategies for Answering Fugue Subjects”

Session B2: Orientations Beyond Tonality
Kyle Hutchison (Colgate University), chair

  • Nathan Lam (Eastman School of Music): “Solfège Set Theory”
  • Robert Hamilton (Eastman School of Music): “The Locrian Mode as a Non-Diatonic Scale”

1:45–3:15 pm:

A3: Cognition and Embodiment
Chris Bartlette (Binghamton University), Chair

  • Judith Lochhead (Stony Brook University) & Nirmali Fenn (Stony Brook University): “Music’s Sensorium: Refracting Bodies and Musical Sense-making”
  • Ryan Jones (Eastman School of Music): “Musical Forces and Metaphors:  Embodied Hermeneutics in Julia Wolfe’s Big Beautiful Dark and Scary
  • Cheng Wei Lim (Columbia University): “Musical Analysis and Dreamlike Experiences”

B3: Concert Music Since the 1970s
Sara Haefeli (Ithaca College), Chair

  • Drake Eshleman (Indiana University): “Analyzing Performance of an Unsynchronized Score: Morton Feldman’s Why Patterns?
  • Zekai Liu (Eastman School of Music): “A Graphic and Harmonic Analysis of Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 7, II–Palindromes
  • Ruixue Hu (Eastman School of Music): “Temporality, Tragedy, and Reversed Recapitulation in The Serial-Minimalist First Movement of Joe Hisaishi’s East Land Symphony

3:30–6:00 pm: Plenary Events

  • 3:30-4:00 Business meeting
  • 4:15-5:15 Keynote Panel: MTSNYS at Fifty: An Overdue Celebration
    Panelists: Mary Arlin, Timothy A. Johnson, Betsy Marvin, Philip Stoecker
  • 5:15-6:00 Reception

6:00 pm–7:30 pm: Dinner Break

7:30–9:30 pm: Conference workshop

“‘Shilin Jita’: Listening to Opera in America of the Roaring Twenties” Workshop Leader: Nancy Rao (Rutgers University)


8:30–9:30 am: Registration

9:30–11:00 am:

Session A4: Music as Translation
Tomoko Deguchi (Winthrop University), Chair

  • Benjamin Schweitzer (Graduate Center, CUNY): “A Play of Light: Temporal Cycles and Intercultural Dialogue in Toshio Hosokawa’s Utsurohi”
  • Stephen Guerra (University at Buffalo): “Choro Charts and Cigarettes: A Case Study of Music Theory Fieldwork”
  • Táhirih Motazedian (Vassar College): “Musical Humor in Film and Television”

Session B4: Hip-Hop and Ska
Kristi Hardman (UNC Charlotte), Chair

  • Maeve Gillen (Eastman School of Music): “Texture, Style, and (Anti-)Teleology in 90s Ska-Punk”
  • Fred Hosken (SUNY Potsdam): “The Language of ‘Feel’: Understanding J Dilla’s ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Rhythm in Musicians’ Words”
  • Devin Guerrero (Texas Tech University): “Pitch, Motive, and Non-Alignment in the Idiomatic Phrasing of Melodic Rap Verses”

11:15 am–12:45 pm:

Session A5: Expressivity in Film and TV Music
Elizabeth Medina-Gray (Ithaca College), Chair

  • C. Catherine Losada (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music): “Expressive Transformations in Film Music by Max Steiner”
  • Micah Roberts (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music): “‘Ancient Voices’: A Hypermetrical and Orchestrational Analysis of the Theme Songs to Seasons of CBS’s Survivor”
  • Hanisha Kulothparan (Eastman School of Music): “The Evolution of the Hero’s Introduction: Topic and Intercultural Trope in Kollywood Film Music”

Session B5: Metal
Alex Reed (Ithaca College), Chair

  • Lori Burns (University of Ottawa): “Beyond ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Division of Work, Sonic Expression, and Musical Subjectivity in Metal Duets with Clean and Harsh Vocals”
  • Ciro Scotto (Ohio University): “What is a riff? A Structural Definition and its Analytical Consequences for Process and Form in Heavy Metal”
  • Zachary Simonds (Independent Scholar): “Terminally Anti-Climactic Form in Post 1990s Progressive Metal”

50th Anniversary Award

The MTSNYS board recently created and advertised a new 50th Anniversary Award to be given for the first time in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the society’s founding. Upon reflection, our current board has decided to postpone this award pending further consideration of its definition, purpose, and requirements.

The society will move forward with the selection of a 2022 Patricia Carpenter Award winner, which recognizes outstanding scholarship by an emerging scholar in the field. This award includes a $500 honorarium and publication of the winning paper in the society’s journal, Theory and Practice.