José Oliveira Martins

Assistant Professor of Music Theory



José Oliveira Martins has degrees in music theory and violin performance from the University of Chicago (Ph.D. 2006), Northwestern University (M.M. 1996), and Instituto Politécnico do Porto, ESMAE, Portugal (B.M. 1992). Before joining the Eastman School of Music as Assistant Professor in the Music Theory Department, he taught at the University of Iowa, and Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, ESART, Portugal. During 2011-12 Oliveira Martins has been a research fellow at Princeton University and Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto.

His current research interests include: the modeling of musical systems, involving in particular medieval scale-theory and twentieth-century modality; analytical approaches to the music of Bartók, Stravinsky, Milhaud, Kurtág, and Lutosławski; and musical structure and expression in Portuguese Fado.

Oliveira Martins spoke at a number of national and international venues including the annual conferences of the society for Mathematics and Computation in Music, Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest, Music Theory Society of New York State, European Music Analysis Conference, Dublin International Conference of Music Analysis, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has also been invited to give lectures on Bartók and twentieth-century polymodality at the Symposium on Bartók’s String Quartets, Indiana University; the Institute of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; and the Encontro Música-Matemática Casa da Música/University of Porto, Portugal.

Oliveira Martins has been the recipient of several awards and recognitions: a post-doctoral research fellowship by the Fundação para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (Portugal), the Arthur J. Komar Award (Music Theory Midwest) and the Patricia Carpenter Emerging Scholar Award (Music Theory Society of New York State). He has also been a fellow at the John Clough Memorial Symposium and the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory. His current and forthcoming publications include analytical studies on Stravinsky’s neoclassical harmonic practice, on polymodality in the music of Bartók, on dual-organization spaces in the music of Milhaud, harmonic space in the music of Lutoslawski and Kurtág, and several theoretical studies on geometrical representations of pitch space: the relations between symmetrical set-classes and “affinity” spaces, and on pitch-space lattices and transpositional networks.