The Eastman theory faculty pursues a broad range of research interests, including Schenkerian theory, studies in the theory and analysis of 20th-century music, history of music theory, musical perception and cognition, computing and music, and jazz and other popular music. An annual lecture series serves to expand research horizons still further. Guest lecturers have included David Huron, Philip Ewell, Joseph Straus, Mark Spicer, Ellie Hisama, Robert Hatten, Jocelyn Neal, Daniel Harrison, Yayoi Uno Everett, Michael Klein, Danny Jenkins, and John Roeder. Student-organized theory symposia provide opportunities for students to present papers and share research in progress. Graduate students present their work at regional and national conferences, as active contributors to the discipline. They also edit and publish, with the assistance of an editorial board of prominent music theorists, a juried music theory journal entitled Intégral.
Technological support for theoretical research is provided by the Music Research and Music Cognition Lab, which gives students the chance to learn and develop software for in-house and Internet use. The lab includes computers, seminar space, and a sound-proof booth for running music-cognitive experiments. Vital support for theory scholarship also is provided by the Sibley Music Library, which houses an extraordinary collection of historical treatises on music theory, manuscript letters, and first editions, and maintains active subscriptions to more than 650 periodicals.
Music Theory graduates join distinguished alumni from Eastman’s other PhD-granting disciplines—Musicology, Composition, and Music Education—many of whom are teaching and leading at musical institutions and schools around the world. This list offers a sample, rotating list of 50 PhD alumni from the past 30 years who are helping to shape the field of music through their work in a wide variety of colleges, universities, music schools, and other institutions.