Graduate Student Workshop Program (GSWP)

The SMT offers educational workshops for graduate students, emphasizing instruction, participation, and discussion. The Graduate Student Workshop Program was founded by Wayne Alpern, who acted as Administrative Director of the Program from 2006–2011, and whose efforts, innovative ideas, and financial contributions supported the Program during its initial years. To encourage interaction, each workshop is limited to approximately 10–12 participants. Since its inception, around 269 graduate students have participated in the GSWP.


All full-time students registered in a graduate program in music theory, or in a graduate program in musicology or composition with a substantial theory component, and who have not received their Ph.D. as of June 15, 2019, are eligible to apply. Participants are selected by a random draw from the pool of applicants. The GSWP is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study with a professor not at their home institution; therefore, students affiliated with the institution of the instructor are not eligible for that instructor’s workshop. Prior GSWP participants are permitted to apply, but preference will be given to first-time applicants.


To apply for the 2019 workshop program, please send your name, e-mail, school affiliation, and degree program to Jennifer Diaz at Please be sure to indicate for which workshop(s) you are applying—you may apply for one or both. You must also have a professor at your institution send an email to, confirming that you meet the requirements for participation stated above. Applications are due by June 15, 2019; selected participants will be notified shortly thereafter. Please note that GSWP workshops will take place the morning of Friday, November 8; by applying you are committing to arrive at the conference in time to participate in the workshop.

In the event that a student selected for a GSWP workshop also has a paper accepted to the conference and scheduled by the program committee at a time conflicting with the workshop, the student may need to forgo participation in the workshop.

***Be aware that these workshops may require many hours of preparation in advance, including both reading and writing assignments. You are not expected to be an expert in the subject matter of the workshop(s) for which you apply, but you should have a serious interest in and commitment to it.


There is no fee to participate in the program. Participants are responsible, however, for the cost of SMT membership and conference registration (but not at the time of application), as well as for other expenses of attendance, including transportation, housing, and meals.

2019 Workshops

Computer Programming for Corpus Analysis

Michael Cuthbert (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Computational music theory on a digital score repertory (or “corpus”) enables testing theories about musical form, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, etc. in a systematic fashion over a far larger collection of scores than any one analyst could do by hand. Though the promise of corpus studies is great, so are the (real or perceived) barriers to entry, such as knowledge of a programming language and encoding of scores. While many resources exist already to learn the very basics of programming in order to perform the most simple computational analysis, few opportunities for developing beyond the one-day programming introduction exist. This workshop digs deeper into corpus studies, using the Python programming language and the music21 toolkit. Foundational knowledge of how to write simple programs in Python is required. Students are encouraged to bring their own computer-encoded repertories to the table.

Twentieth-century Music in Analysis and Performance: Contexts and Experiments

Daphne Leong (University of Colorado)

This workshop situates analysis-and-performance in disciplinary contexts, samples various approaches, conducts hands-on explorations of several brief pieces, and then delves into works by Berg, Webern, Carter, and Babbitt, and others. The workshop is subtitled “Contexts and Experiments” because it seeks to place analysis and performance in the context not only of music theory, but also of wide-ranging developments in performance studies and artistic research. Empirical, embodied, philosophical, and other approaches will be sampled. Participants will experiment with analytical and interpretive processes (including consulting with performer colleagues) and will challenge received notions of musical structure and of music analysis itself. Explorations will embrace questions of motive, harmony, form; articulation, voicing, ensemble; rhythm, meter, and temporality; metaphor and narrative; and, where possible, embodiment and practical application.

Previous Workshops

  • 2018
    • Issues in Popular-Music Analysis – Nicole Biamonte (McGill University)
    • Code Shifting, Chromaticsm, and Modality – Dmitri Tymoczko (Princeton University)
  • 2017
    • Music-Listener Intersubjectivity – Marion Guck (University of Michigan)
    • The Craft of Musical Analysis – Frank Samarotto (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)
  • 2016
    • Meter and Form in 19th-Century Music – Richard Cohn (Yale University)
    • Topics, Phrase Structure, and Sonata Form in Haydn's Chamber Music – Danuta Mirka (University of Southampton)
  • 2015
    • Schubert’s Modulatory Practice and the History of Tonal Coherence – Suzannah Clark (Harvard University)
    • Cognitive Science Meets the Orphans – Robert Gjerdingen (Northwestern University)
  • 2014
    • Exploring Pitch Memory and Melody Perception: Empirical Approaches – Elizabeth West Marvin (Eastman School of Music)
    • Finding Narratives in Formal Analysis of Popular Music – Jocelyn Neal (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    • Renaissance Instrumental Music – Peter Schubert (McGill University)
  • 2013
    • The Idea of Musical Form as Process, from Analytic and Performance Perspectives – Janet Schmalfeldt (Tufts University)
    • What is Metric Well Formedness? – Justin London (Carleton College)
  • 2012
    • Harmony and Voice Leading in Rock and Pop Music – Walt Everett (University of Michigan)
    • A Corpus-Based Approach to Tonal Theory – Ian Quinn (Yale University)
  • 2011
    • Exploring Musical Spaces – Julian Hook (Indiana University)
  • 2010
    • Stravinsky – Gretchen Horlacher (Indiana University)
    • Musical Narrative – Michael Klein (Temple University)
  • 2009
    • Music Pedagogy – Brian Alegant (Oberlin College)
    • Schenkerian Analysis – Poundie Burstein (City University of New York)
  • 2008
    • Musical Meaning in Beethoven – Robert Hatten (Indiana University)
    • Analyzing Contemporary Music – John Roeder (University of British Columbia)
  • 2007
    • Sonata Theory – James Hepokoski (Yale University) and Warren Darcy (Oberlin College)
    • Analyzing Early Music – Cristle Collins Judd (Bowdoin College)
  • 2006
    • Voice Leading in Atonal Music – Joseph Straus (City University of New York)


For additional information, please contact Richard Cohn, Chair of the Committee on Workshop Programs, at The 2019 Committee on Workshop Programs also includes Eric McKee, Emily Gertsch, and Dmitri Tymoczko.

Workshop opportunities are also available to those who have completed a Ph.D.