Who am I?
I'm a violinist/composer/music theorist that upon graduation from the Eastman School of Music became a full-time hacker.
Currently, I am a Senior Backend Engineer at Knox Networks.
Listed here are some of the various tools and other miscellany I developed for music theory and analysis while at the Eastman School of Music.
For the presentation that I gave before the defense of my dissertation, I avoided PowerPoint altogether, using instead impress.js as the main engine of my slideshow. Included within the slideshow are some examples that exploit my plot-pc-set.js script to demonstrate how the z-relation works. Unlike usual web-based slideshows, it is a dynamic hands-on slideshow.
This webapp is a mobile app that uses JQTouch along with Zepto. It is a suite of music calculators, which now includes a set class calculator and a twelve-tone matrix builder. Personally, when analyzing music, I use this webapp all the time.
This calculator uses AJAX to query the server about information about set classes. It is a bit old, and could certainly be improved, but it serves as a good example of of some of my earlier work, which has the server respond with information according to set-class lists stored server-side. Overall, this calculator is very powerful, in that it responds relatively quickly with hard-to-calculate information.
I began my studies as a student of violin at Texas Tech University. During that time, I went to Lugano, Switzerland to study with the maestro Carlo Chiarappa.
After completing my undergraduate degree at Texas Tech, I went to SUNY Buffalo and the Eastman School of Music to pursue a doctorate in music theory. My graduate research focused primarily on music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and specifically on post-war composers of the European tradition, such as Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Witold Lutoslawski and Henri Dutilleux. I have also done research on the history of music theory (particularly Renaissance and early-Baroque theory), Schenkerian theory, and on phenomenological approaches to analysis.
My dissertation focuses on a special correspondence between music theory and crystallography, namely the z-relation. It is now available online at ProQuest.
Though the z-relation—the relationship whereby two sets not related by transposition and/or inversion have the same interval-class content—has been one of the core concepts of pitch-class set theory since its inception, the principles underlying the relationship have to a large extent remained obscure. However, new information is emerging. First, recent work on the Fourier transform for pitch-class- set analysis (in particular, by Ian Quinn, which builds on work by David Lewin) provides new information concerning the subset structure of z-related sets. Second, as recognized by Clifton Callender and Rachel Hall, the z-relation is an instance of what crystallographers call homometry, which has been written about extensively. The aim of this study is to utilize these new means to present a comprehensive description of the z-relation that addresses the criteria upon which the z-relation relies as well as the ways in which z-related sets interrelate.
Building upon algebraic formulas suggested by crystallographers, I develop an approach that describes z-related pairs in terms of formulas that correspond to subset properties illustrated by the Fourier transform. In addition to devising my own formulas, I show that the formulas can be extended with a method called ‘pumping’ (O’Rourke, et alii), which adds pitch-classes to preformed formulas. Together, the formulas and pumping lead to a general theory of the z-relation that not only describes the relationships between the sets of a z-related pair, but also those between z-related pairs of different cardinalities.
Since it exposes transformational relationships, the algebraic approach lends itself well to the analysis of music that involves z-related sets, whether twelve-tone music based on rows with discrete hexachords that are z-related, or other non-serial music that prominently features z-related sets as motivic harmonies. In my own work I use the theory to analyze twentieth-century works by composers including Schoenberg, Berg, Carter and Berio. Overall, the theory exposes that transformational networks involving z-related sets are not only possible, but are altogether relevant to the analysis of music that involves such harmonies.
Though my time is mostly wrapped up by my day job, I am generally available as an independent contractor for application development or systems administration. Feel free to contact me and I can provide an estimate.
My services come at a rate of $100/hour.
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