Here is a list of Interest Group activities that took place at the 2014 Annual Meeting.

Analysis of World Music Interest Group

We are pleased to announce two activities sponsored by the Analysis of World Music Interest Group at the upcoming SMT/AMS conference in Milwaukee. The first consists of the special panel session “Cycles in World Music” sponsored by SMT Analysis of World Music Interest Group. The second involves a symposium on theme Global Hip-Hop.

Friday, November 7th 9:30-11:00 pm (H: Mitchell)
Analytical Approaches to Cycles in World Music

Chair: Lawrence Shuster (College of Saint Rose)

  • John Roeder and Michael Tenzer (University of British Columbia), “Large-Scale Formative Processes in Ostinato Music”
  • Kofi Agawu (Princeton University), “The Metrical Underpinnings of African Time-Line Patterns”

*Please find abstract of this event at SMT/AMS program.

Saturday, November 8th 12:15-1:45 pm (H: Walker)
Global Hip-Hop

Chair: Ya-Hui Cheng (Fort Valley State University)

  • Michael Berry (University of Washington), “Understanding Improvisation in Early Hip-Hop”
  • Eric Charry (Wesleyan University), “Making Hip Hop African”
  • Ellie Hisama (Columbia University), “Sampling Traditional Korean Music in Korean American Hip Hop: Jamez’s ‘Aziatic Hip Hop’”


Understanding Improvisation in Early Hip-Hop
Michael Berry, University of Washington

At its inception, hip-hop culture was a fusion of writing (graffiti), breakdancing, DJing, and MCing. Each element was improvised, typically in response to one of the other elements. Schema theory provides a useful framework for studying and comparing improvisatory practices both within and across elements. The critical apparatus developed by Henry Louis Gates in The Signifying Monkey (1988) functions as a bridge between the work of scholars such as Walter Ong, Ian MacKenzie, and Alison Wray, and the more specific cultural practices of hip-hop.

In the first part of this essay, I use schema theory to examine improvisation in each of the four elements. The focus of this section is on a collection of live performances by Chief Rocker Busy Bee Starski, a well-known party MC. Busy Bee’s live performances consist of stock phrases and more abstract outlines that are organized according to the specific performance context. The second part of the essay examines the impact of commercialization on the four elements. Recording and broadcasting split up the four elements and initiated a shift from improvisation to more fixed, homogenous forms that are separate from their time and place of production (Rose 1994, 58).

Making Hip Hop African
Eric Charry, Wesleyan University

Hip hop from the US has been embraced and transformed throughout Africa to such an extent that it could be considered as an African (or Senegalese, Ghanaian, etc.) cultural style there, or perhaps an African tributary of a global current. This is but the latest in a very long lineage of global cultural transformations in Africa. Islam and Christianity have long impacted musical practice in Africa, being reshaped in the process. More recent currents, such as Cuban son/rumba in the 1940s and 50s, US rock and soul in the 1960s and 70s, and Jamaican reggae and ragga in the 1970s and 80s have also stimulated innovative artistic production. The processes of transformation that African hip hop has undergone in the past few decades bear striking similarities and differences with those that unfolded about the time of decolonization and political independence in the 1950s and 60s. Indeed, hip hop draws on some of these earlier hybrid styles to gain local relevancy and authenticity. In this paper I examine the process of making hip hop African, paying special attention to the language, musical accompaniment, sampling strategies, and flow. Examples will be drawn from Senegal, France, and elsewhere in Africa.

Sampling Traditional Korean Music in Korean American Hip Hop: Jamez’s “Aziatic Hip Hop”
Ellie Hisama, Columbia University

The paper explores the music of Korean American MC Jamez Chang who incorporates traditional Korean music in hip hop compositions. Extending my previous work on his CD Z-Bonics (Hisama 2005), I examine Jamez’s use of p’ansori, a traditional epic Korean dramatic genre in which stories are narrated by a singer with percussion accompaniment (Um 2013). Jamez describes his mixing of Korean folk music with hip hop as part of his search for an “Asian American aesthetic” (Chang 1999).

My analyses of Jamez’s songs address four elements: flow, rhythmic cycles, the instrumental soundscape, and han, a fundamental aesthetic concept in traditional Korean music and dance (Jang 2014). In considering his use of vocal rhythm, I draw upon the work of Kyle Adams (2009) and Paul Edwards (2009) in mapping Jamez’s flow in relation to the sampled traditional music. I also consider Jamez’s more recent music, exploring his newer sonic paths in poetic and musical expression as an MC, poet, and producer in relation to his formation of an Asian American music.

Film and Multimedia Interest Group

Saturday 5:30–8:30 - Wisconsin Center First Floor: 103 DE

Business Meeting: the first 30 minutes of the meeting will unfold as an open discussion of issues pertaining to the IG, including:

  • Intro and welcome, member announcements of upcoming conferences, publications, projects, and other events of interest
  • Newly established FMIG Bibliography Wiki
  • Participation within the FMIG Google group/blog
  • Developments in the proposed open access repository of film and VG scores
  • Potential “open peer review” blog (inspired by MTO anniversary session posted at:

Video Games Session: after the 30-minute business meeting, the IG will host a special session on Video Games, intended to introduce scholars (FMIG members and the SMT and AMS community at large) to ludomusicology and potential venues for Video Game music analysis through hands-on playing of a wide arrange of games (Aquaria, Sim City, Apotheon, Chiptune Runner, My Singing Monsters, Proteus). The session features Marios Aristopoulos, Michael Austin, Andy Brick, Jesse Kinne, and Bill O’Hara, who will provide insights on the soundtracks to the various games and guide participants through the gaming experience.
(Session organizers: Juan Chattah, Jesse Kinne, Frank Lehman, and Bill O’Hara.)

Detailed information about the session, the selected games, and the session leaders, can be found here.

Interest Group on Improvisation

The SMT Interest Group on Improvisation invites you to its annual meeting.

"Improvisational Perspectives in the Theory Classroom"
Saturday 8 November
12:15-1:45 p.m.
Mitchell Room

The centerpiece of the meeting will be a panel discussion about the methods and means of bringing improvisational frameworks into the music theory classroom, with a focus on how different improvisation-driven styles (Renaissance and Baroque musics, jazz, etc.) can inform and enrich one another.

Four panelists--Peter Schubert (McGill), Max Guido (McGill), Garrett Michaelsen (UMass Lowell), and Dariusz Terefenko (Eastman)--will be joined by moderator Chris Stover (The New School). Audience participation will be encouraged as well.

Jazz Interest Group

SMT’s Jazz Theory and Analysis Interest Group will meet on Friday from 12:15 to 1:45 (H: Mitchell). There, we’ll have an update from the Jazz Theory Pedagogy Committee, and we’ll announce a recipient of the Steve Larson Award for Jazz Scholarship.

The bulk of the meeting will involve discussions of prolongational models (or alternatives to them) in modern jazz. Richard Pellegrin (University of Missouri) and Ben Geyer (Oberlin Conservatory) will share their research. All are invited to come and participate.

Richard Pellegrin "Schenkerian versus Salzerian Analysis of Jazz"
As in the classical idiom, problems arise in jazz analysis if one attempts to apply a strictly Schenkerian approach to pieces that fall outside of certain boundaries; these boundaries may be clearly defined in theory, but in practice are a multitude of gray areas; and the repertoire amenable to a strict Schenkerian approach only represents a small portion of the jazz canon. I argue that a less strict—i.e. Salzerian—approach to much jazz is therefore necessary if one wishes to examine it from a “structural” perspective. Such an approach must accord increased weight to salience, as opposed to pitch stability and tonal resolution, as one encounters music which is less tonal. Analytical examples focus on a Bill Evans improvisation on “Stella by Starlight,” a performance that is situated historically within the context of Evans’s own oeuvre, as well as that of contemporaneous jazz.

Ben Geyer “All Things Being Equal: The Problem of Reduction in Second-Practice Jazz”
This presentation asserts that time-span structure is an essential parameter in understanding metrically organized jazz tunes. I use Lerdahl and Jackendoff’s time-span rules and tree diagrams to expand on Steven Strunk’s intuitive application of time-span segmentation to bop harmony in his "Layered Approach." My claim is that time-span trees visualize a sense of directed motions at multiple structural levels, and that these motions are components of a tune’s conceptual model (Zbikowski). After introducing particular tree structures paradigmatic of the eight-measure phrase and the 32-measure form, I analyze Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and Shorter’s “Speak No Evil,” arguing that they interact dialogically with song form in rhythmic structure despite their ambiguously hierarchical pitch relations.

Mathematics of Music Analysis Group

The Mathematics of Music Analysis Interest Group will meet on Friday 11/7, 5:00–7:00 PM (W101B). We will start with four short papers, a diverse selection of research notes from members of the group that promise to give a broad picture of the current goings-on in the area of mathematical music theory.

      Evan Jones, “A Mathematical Model for Scale Degree Qualia.”
      Ed Gollin, "A Surprising Instance of the Golden Section in a Probabilistic View of Bartokian Harmony."
      James Hughes, “Writing a General Introduction to the Use of Mathematics in the Study of Music since 1950”
      Daniel Tompkins, “Fretworks: Idiomatic Voice-Leading on the Guitar”

Then we will have regular papers from Julian Hook and David Clampitt.

Julian Hook's paper is entitled “Key-Color Invariance.” Starting from the observation that the keyboard fingering of a passage depends upon the configuration of black and white keys, he addresses some mathematical problems concerning "key-color invariance," the number of notes that retain their key-color under transposition.

David Clampitt's paper "Like a Binary Star System: Harmonic Function in a Singular Pairwise Well-formed Scale" examines aspects of pairwise well-formedness—a three step-size generalization of well-formedness—in works by Beethoven and Schubert based on the “Hungarian minor” scale.

Music and Disability Interest Group

Information about our activities at the 2014 Annual Meeting can be found here.

Music and Philosophy Interest Group

Friday afternoon, November 7, 5-7pm, in the Mitchell room of the Hilton hotel.

Roundtable Discussion: New Ontologies of Sound and Music

  • James Bennett (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Badiou, Music and Music Theory”
  • Nina Penner (McGill University), “Title: Musical Work as Both Products and Processes”
  • August A. Sheehy (University of Chicago), “What is a Music Analyst?”
  • Jacob Walls (University of Oregon), “Is There a Way to Invoke the Music Itself Without Embarrassing Ourselves?”

Music Cognition Interest Group

Our meeting at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory features presentations from four of our members. David Huron (OhioState University) will present on common "mistakes, mishaps, and misunderstandings in music experiments." Stefanie Acevedo (Yale University) and Andrew Aziz (Florida State University) will discuss their attempts to extend schema theory into the 19th century. Ève Poudrier (Yale University) will give an update on her experiments concerning spontaneous rhythm. Finally, Bryn Hughes (University of Miami) will introduce his new line of research on the relationship of backbeat patterns to perceived tempo in popular music.

Music Informatics Group

Information about our activities at the 2014 Annual Meeting can be found here.

Music Theory Pedagogy Interest Group

You are warmly invited to attend the upcoming meeting of the SMT Pedagogy Interest Group, which will take place Saturday, November 8, from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee. The meeting will be held in the Wisconsin Center, room 102D. Since this is a lunchtime meeting, feel free to bring a bag lunch to enjoy.

The agenda for the meeting includes an opportunity to announce publications, conferences, new courses, technologies, and other pedagogy-related activities. We will also discuss special-session proposal topics for the 2015 annual conference. With so many exciting initiatives underway, please email me in advance with announcements and special session topics (especially if you are considering a joint proposal with another interest group or standing committee) so that I can better facilitate the meeting.

Our meeting will conclude with a discussion on a topic of relevance to most music theory teachers: the intersection between theory curricula at the undergraduate level and the broader institutions that serve the discipline, in particular the Music Theory AP Exam and graduate theory entrance exams. Click here for a longer description and a list of discussion questions, and click here to read the AP Music Theory Course Description, which provides example problems, exam terminology, grading rubrics, and other useful information pertinent to our discussion. I am pleased to announce that members of the AP theory committee will be joining our discussion, and I hope many of you will as well.

Performance and Analysis Interest Group


Saturday, November 8, 2014, 5:30-7:30 PM

PANELISTS (scroll down for biographies)

  • Benjamin Binder (Duquesne University): “Art and Science, Beauty and Truth, Performance and Analysis?”
  • Alan Dodson (University of British Columbia): “Analyzing Expressive Timing in the Age of Big Data”
  • Elisabeth Le Guin (UCLA): “Dividing in Order to Conquer: Early Baroque Division Treatises, Pedagogy, and the Concept of Mastery”
  • Daphne Leong (University of Colorado): “What Does the ‘And’ in ‘Performance And Analysis’ Mean?”
  • Peter Martens (Texas Tech University): “Ways of Knowing the Body, Bodily Ways of Knowing”
  • Fabio Morabito (Kings College London): “The Private Library of a Famous Nineteenth-Century Ensemble: Looking at Traces of the Interpretative Process as a Form of Analysis?”
  • Roger Moseley (Cornell University): “High Scores: Analyzing Performance as Musical Play”


  • John Rink (University of Cambridge)
  • Janet Schmalfeldt (Tufts University)

MODERATORS (and PAIG co-chairs):

  • Daniel Barolsky (Beloit College)
  • Edward Klorman (Queens College, CUNY; and The Juilliard School)

Click here for more information about the session, including biographies of all panelists and respondents.

Popular Music Interest Group

2014 Milwaukee Panel Discussion and Meeting
Saturday, November 8th, 5:30–7:30pm
Hilton: Walker Room

Panel Discussion: “What should be the role of the PMIG within our society as a whole?”

  • Nicole Biamonte, McGill University
  • Christine Boone, UNC-Asheville
  • John Covach, Eastman School of Music
  • Jocelyn Neal, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Drew Nobile, University of Chicago
  • Joti Rockwell, Pomona College

Post-1945 Music Analysis Interest Group

The Post-1945 Music Analysis Interest Group is pleased to announce that it will be holding a special session dedicated to the music of Kaija Saariaho following its business proceedings at the SMT/AMS conference in Milwaukee. The meeting will take place on Friday, Nov. 7th, from 12:15 to 1:45 (workshop to start roughly at 12:45) and will feature contributions by Judy Lochhead, John Roeder, Christopher Gainey and Brian Moseley.

The purpose of the workshop will be to provide an introduction to the music of Kaija Saariaho and exposure to the compositional/analytical/aesthetic issues that her music foregrounds. We will therefore hear from Saariaho specialists about general issues pertinent to her work, and then spend time considering one piece: Sept Papillons for solo cello. Gainey and Moseley will present positions on this piece to start; after this, we will collectively engage the piece so as to address additional issues and potential ‘ways in’ to her music.


  • 12:15 – 12:35: Business Meeting (agenda T.B.D.)
  • 12:40 – end: Saariaho Workshop
    • Background – or, “Becoming Près to Saariaho“

      • 12:40 – 12:50: Judith Lochhead (SUNY Stony Brook), “An Introduction to the Music of Kaija Saariaho”
      • 12:51 – 1:01: John Roeder (University of British Columbia), “Observations About Pitch and Rhythm in the Music of Kaija Saariaho”
    • Case Study: Sept Papillons
      • 1:02 – 1:12: Christopher Gainey (University of British Columbia), "Prestimagination: Interactions between Performance Practice, Compositional Design, and Aesthetic Priority in Kaija Saariaho's Sept Papillons"
      • 1:15 – 1:25: Reactions and Additional Commentary by Brian Moseley (University at Buffalo)
      • 1:25 – end: Group Discussion

Prior to attendance, we suggest that all consult the following sources and generate positions to share on Sept Papillons in particular.

Kaija Saariaho. 1987. “Timbre and Harmony: Interpolations of Timbral Structures.” Contemporary Music Review 2:1, 93-133.
***Sept Papillons (2000)
Près (1992)
Lichtbogen (1986) (9 instruments + electronics)
From the Grammar of Dreams, III (1988) (two sopranos)
Leino Songs, II (2008)

Other suggested readings:
Saariaho, Kaija. 2000. “Kaija Saariaho: Colour, Timbre and Harmony." In The Voice of Music: Conversations with Composers of Our Time. Ed. Anders Beyer, 301-316. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Pousset, Damien. 2000. "The Works of Kaija Saariaho, Philippe Hurel ad Marc-Andre Dalbavie–Stile Concertato, Stile Concitato, Stile Rappresentativo." Translated by Joshua Fineberg and Ronan Hyacinthe. Contemporary Music Review 19(3): 67-110.
Sivuoja-Gunaratnam, Anne. 2005. "Miniatures and Tensions: Phenomenological Reverberations in and around Kaija Saariaho's Lichtbogen." Intersections 25(1/2): 44-66

Other suggested works:
Lonh (1996) (soprano + electronics)
Spins and Spells (1997) (cello solo)

Queer Resource Group

What happens when Queer Theory + Music Theory?

Our Friday late afternoon business meeting presents a panel of three 20-min papers that extend the discourse initiated in the special joint AMS/SMT session on Friday morning.

  1. “Queer Music Theory Redux” panel, Friday 5 – 7 pm (W: 103C)
    SMT Queer Resource Group business meeting
    NOTE: This is the correct time/venue

    Christopher Culp (University at Buffalo SUNY), “Utopia Against Identity: Queer Music Theory and Negativity”
    Danielle Sofer (University of Music and Dramatic Arts, Graz, Austria), “Convergences in Music Analysis (or, Music Theory’s Queer Complex)”
    Clara Latham (New York University), “Shame and the Composer’s Voice”


  2. “Queer Music Theory: Interrogating Notes of Sexuality,” Friday 9 am – 12 pm (H: Walker)
    AMS/SMT joint special session, co-sponsored with AMS LQBTQ Study Group
    Co-organized by Nadine Hubbs and Gavin Lee
    Participants: Naomi André, William Cheng, Amy Cimini, James Currie, Roger Mathew Grant, Kevin Korsyn, Judith Peraino

Russian Music Theory Interest Group

Saturday 8 November - 12:15-2:00PM

Wisconsin Center, first floor, room 103 DE (W: 103 DE)

Welcome and announcements
12:15: Inessa Bazayev, chair

12:20: Maureen Carr (Penn State University), “1917 Revolution in the Arts: Burliuk's Neomorphism and Stravinsky's Neoclassicism”
12:40: Deborah Rifkin (Ithaca College), “Peter in Motion: Early Animated Adaptations of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf”
1:00-1:10: Discussion

1:10: Phil Ewell (Hunter College), “Introduction to Yavorsky’s Theory”
1:25: Simon Prosser (CUNY Graduate Center), "Sergei Protopopov and The Elements of the Structure of Musical Speech"
1:45-2:00: Discussion

Work and Family Interest Group

You are cordially invited to attend the business meeting and themed discussion of the Work and Family interest group at Milwaukee. Event descriptions and schedules are shared below.

Friday, 7 November, 5 to 7 p.m. - Hilton Hotel, Walker room

The business meeting will take place from 5 to 5:50 p.m. The meeting agenda will be:

The themed discussion this year is on “Starting a Family at Different Career Stages,” and will take place from 5:50 to 7 p.m. The event schedule will be:

  1. Personal sharing by Brenda Ravenscroft (Queen’s University) and Robin Attas (Elon University)
  2. Overview of relevant sociological research by guest speaker, Noelle Chesley (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
    • Noelle Chesley is an Associate Professor in the sociology department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a married mother of two young boys. Her research focuses on the relevance of gender, technological innovation, and aging for work and family life. She has published in venues such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Gender & Society, Sociological Focus, Work, Employment, & Society, and Information, Communication, & Society. Her current research is primarily concerned with the role that information and communication technology use and changing gender roles plays in reshaping employment and family experiences. Professor Chesley has received an Alfred P. Sloan Early Career Development award and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the sociology department at the University of Minnesota. She holds a BS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Syracuse University, and a PhD in Human Development from Cornell University. Prior to graduate school, Professor Chesley worked for five years as an economic consultant for Christiansen Associates in Madison, Wisconsin.
  3. Free discussion