It is a joy to announce that Lina Sofia Tabak is the winner of the 2020 SMT Student Presentation Award. Her presentation was a delight—rich written materials and vibrant video delivery.

Tabak’s paper, “Pulse Dissonance in Colombian Currulao,” examines extreme metrical dissonances in currulao, an Afro-Colombian practice that features polymeter and a multitude of complex rhythmic ostinati. The paper introduces a pulse dissonance model in order to account for the prevalence of contrasting pulses; demonstrates how the interlocking rhythmic elements are taught by some native musicians, a pedagogical perspective which encourages a polymetric interpretation of the practice; and also considers how the contrasting pulses might be perceived by musicians, listeners, and dancers.

Lina Sofia Tabak is currently a second-year PhD student in music theory at the CUNY Graduate Center. She graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University in 2019, earning a Bachelor of Music in music theory and euphonium performance. Currently, she is an instructor of music theory at Brooklyn College Conservatory and is continuing her studies in rhythm and meter in a wide range of repertoire at the Graduate Center.

On behalf of the entire Student Presentation Award Committee, warmest congratulations!

Blair Johnston, chair
Juan Chattah
Sarah Ellis
Peter Kaminsky
Rachel Lumsden


Click here to view the video (available until January 15, 2021). SMT 2020 registration required. Password is given in registration email.