Publications

These are some selections of my written works, some of which I’ve given presentations and lectures in various settings. (For more details, check the full C.V.) Main topics include music theory, music history, and the philosophy of music, although I’ve also written about topics in various other areas as well.

I’m currently earning a Ph.D in historical musicology at the University of Southern California and am also applying for scholar residencies that might give me the support and time needed to finish in-process works. The list below are more formal papers, but lately I’ve been posting a lot of my research as blog posts, which tend to have a more interdisciplinary feel. You can check out the archive if anything might be of interest.

(Comments are enabled on a lot of the Google Docs papers, so please leave feedback if you have any!)
 

Music Theory Improvisation Music Ethics

 

Transcendentalism and Materialism: Classical Music and Improvisation in the United States
Looks at the ideological histories behind classical and improvisatory musics — why they don’t tend to mix very well. Ideas from this paper have been used in the George Lewis and the AACM article below.
Phasing and Form
Musical “phasing” processes have palindromic forms inherently built into them, which explains Steve Reich’s “middle” period output. Looks at his Piano Phase, as well as simplified examples as evidence. Short and to the point — probably my best theory paper so far. (Was presented at the 2nd International Minimalist Music Conference in 2009.)
Macrotonality
“Macro”-tonality is an inverted perspective of microtonality, which looks at the “stacked” 4ths and 5ths sonorities in a more structured manner. This paper can be said to be an extension of Paul Hindemith’s harmonic theories found in his Craft of Music (1945). I tried to write music using these theories but it was too time consuming so I’ll probably work on it more later.
George Lewis and the AACM: Bringing Oratorical Musics into the Literary World
I met George Lewis back at my undergrad, where he encouraged me to keep up with my improv chops. I think we’re going in very different directions now, but this was sort of my homage to him before I started to move onto other things. Looks at the classical vs. improv issue through the history of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and Lewis’ works.
The Ethics of Composition: Audience and Memory [Prezi Link]
The first of what’s likely to become my dissertation topic (ethics), looking at the idea of what it means for a composer to be “generous”. Check the prezi link for a quick run-through of the ideas. Kyle Gann vs. Charles Wuorinen. Hot dogs vs. cats.
Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley: The Ethics of Online Piracy
The second in the “ethics of music” series, this time looking at recent issues such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and how it relates to issues of music copyright, intellectual property, and online piracy. Different approaches and methodologies of dealing with the problem, as represented by the ideologies of the two industry giants. Musicians’ perspectives on how they feel about what’s currently happening — interviews by Prince (the artist formerly known as) and Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails).