MTSMA 2018

The Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic Sixteenth Annual Meeting

William Paterson University

Wayne, NJ

March 23–24, 2018

Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader

Dr. Poundie Burstein (Hunter College, CUNY) will give the keynote address, and will conduct a professional development workshop for graduate students and faculty. All conference attendees are encouraged to attend these events, and no application is necessary for workshop participation.  

Keynote Address: The Sky is Not Blue, and Teaching Traditional Harmony and Counterpoint

Music theory students and teachers alike have long complained about the sterile harmony exercises that are a staple of most music theory classes. With glee, people love to point out how works by master composers frequently feature elements that are forbidden in exercises, thereby seeming to prove the ineptitude of the arcane harmony rules forced upon generations of students. Considering the glaring divide between compositional practice and the guidelines for these exercises, are there truly any benefits for continuing to teach in this old-fashioned manner?

This presentation shall argue that there is, and that understanding the proper aims and goals of teaching traditional harmony exercises addresses issues that lie at the very heart of harmony and its pedagogy.

Professional Development Workshop: Form and Formal Process in the Exposition of Mozart’s Symphony in F, K. 43/i

This workshop considers the layout of sonata-form expositions that hail from around the third quarter of the eighteenth century. As its primary point of departure, the workshop examines ways in which the layout of the exposition from W. A. Mozart’s K. 43/i interacts with the formal norms of its time. Particular attention is given to published discussions on form by musicians who flourished during the second half of 1700s. The approach of these eighteenth-century theorists contrasts greatly than what is found in most modern discussions on form, thereby suggesting a more nuanced understanding of the musical drama.

Program Committee

  • Daniel Zimmerman, chair (University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Jenine Brown (Peabody Institute)
  • Eugene Montague (George Mason University)
  • Joseph Siu (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
  • Kip Wile (Peabody Institute)

Local Arrangements

Anton Vishio (William Patterson University)