Assistant Professor, Music Theory

Ph.D. (2014) Florida State University (Legacy Fellow); M.M. (2011), University of Colorado at Boulder; B.Mus. (2008), University of Western Ontario.

John Peterson specializes in theories of musical meaning and Schenkerian analysis. His current research combines these interests by focusing on narrativistic descriptions of phrase expansions and on the way in which character interaction in music can motivate narrative interpretation. In his dissertation, John explored questions of virtual musical agency, such as: How do virtual musical agents arise in music? How does the implication of a virtual agent affect one’s interpretation of the music? How might non-musical theories of action and agency be adapted for musical analysis? How might a theory of musical agency interact with other modes of analysis? John is also interested in the analysis of popular music, issues of form in music, and music theory pedagogy.

John has presented his research at such conference as the Society for Music Theory, the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Southeast, and the Texas Society for Music Theory. He has presented papers on Schenkerian analysis, music and meaning, and the music of Carl Nielsen, and he was an invited speaker at the 2011 Stockhausen Symposium in Boulder, Colorado.

In addition to teaching in the music theory core curriculum, John offers seminars in music theory on a variety of topics, including: the relationship between analysis and performance, analysis of recent music, musical meaning in tonal and twentieth-century music, and formal function and process in Classical and Romantic music. Recently, John has been interested in a hybrid approach to teaching that combines online learning with in-class activities, an approach that allows students to engage with content outside of class at their own pace and which offers more in-class time to practice concepts under the instructor’s guidance. Sample video tutorials that are representative of John’s approach appear below.

Music Theory Professors and Instructors

Jason Haney

Jason Haney
Professor, Composition/Theory Area Coordinator
Contact Information

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