Eugene Narmour BM 61, MA 62

Eugene Narmour received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music theory from Eastman in 1961 and 1962, respectively, and went on to receive a PhD in musicology from the University of Chicago. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor of Music and a former Associate Dean for the Humanities and Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Trained in musical performance, theory, and musicology, Eugene Narmour was drawn to an academic specialty that combines elements of all three, not to mention cultural studies, cognitive psychology, and statistics. This is the interdisciplinary study of musical perception and cognition—what happens when music meets the brain. Narmour’s many articles on this subject have been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese, and his ground-breaking volumes, The Analysis and Cognition of Basic Melodic Structures and The Analysis and Cognition of Melodic Complexity, are influential and widely read throughout the world.

Eugene Narmour has served as the President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and has been a guest professor and lecturer at Oxford University, Stanford University, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

He once remarked in an interview, “Graduate training in music is a wonderful training for the life of the mind,” and his multifaceted career proves the truth of this observation. For his accomplishments as teacher, author, and theorist, the Eastman School of Music is pleased to present Eugene Narmour its Alumni Achievement Award.