Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Nathan Lam is an Australian-American music theorist and composer, and he is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. He holds a BM in clarinet performance from Queensland Conservatorium and a PhD in music theory from Indiana University. Before joining Eastman, he taught theory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Nathan’s teaching and research stems from a deep curiosity about the structures of music. His research sits at the intersection of modal theory, solfege, history of theory, applied mathematical music theory, and multiculturalism. His recent publications and talks explore Chinese pentatonic transformations, 19th-century French modality, comparative solfege in aural skills pedagogy, and Schubert’s diatonic transformations.
Nathan’s own music extend his theoretical research into the creative realm. His multi-year composition project “Finding Symmetry”, uses canons to engage audiences with concepts in mathematical music theory. His upcoming CD album will feature canons old and new, such as crab canons, tempo canons, and fractal canons. Nathan plays the clarinet whenever he can, and outside of music, he enjoys exploring local trails by bicycle and unicycle.