The Butler School of Music features a faculty of dynamic and innovative music theorists who are developing theories of musical meaning and interpretation (cognitive, gestural, semiotic, hermeneutic, narrative, psychodynamic and sociological) across a wide range of repertoires, from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including film music and popular music. Faculty research interests focus on the music of Gesualdo, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Debussy, Ligeti, Feldman, Crumb, Waxman and Piazzola.
We maintain an enrollment of around 15 master's and doctoral students, with around 10 in residence in any given year. Both teaching assistantships and fellowships are competitively available. In addition to several fine libraries, students have access to the extensive holdings of the Harry Ransom Humanities Center and the rich musical life of Austin. The department has one of the strongest placement records in the country, with nearly all recent graduates securing teaching positions in colleges and universities throughout North America. Three of our faculty have received prestigious teaching awards, and four have authored or co-authored textbooks. Teaching assistants are mentored and observed every semester. The theory faculty publishes, lectures and gives keynotes and papers on their research extensively throughout North America and Europe. The faculty also carefully mentor student research, supporting conference submissions and travel to present papers. Every year, graduate students in music theory, musicology and composition organize gammaUT, a one-day interdisciplinary student conference and concert of new music that draws participants from around the nation. A regular theory forum features faculty, student and guest lectures, in addition to presentations on professional development issues.
For more Theory Department information, please visit the Music Theory Website.