Vasili Byros

Associate Professor, Music Theory and Cognition

Vasili Byros

PhD, Yale University

Chair, Department of Music Studies. Coordinator, advanced music theory curriculum (undergraduate). Vasili Byros researches the compositional and listening practices of the long 18th century as linguistic and cultural pursuits, drawing on frameworks in music theory, history, and cognitive and social psychology, in order to reconstruct “insider” perspectives on music of the period. He has published in Music Analysis, Music Theory Online, Eighteenth-Century Music, The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (ed. Danuta Mirka), Musica Humana, Theory and Practice, and in a co-authored volume titled What is a Cadence? (Leuven, ed. Markus Neuwirth and Pieter Bergé). Byros’ research has dealt with issues of key perception and tonality, interactions between local and large-scale musical grammars, intersections between syntax and semantics, and musical communication (musical wit and humor in Mozart, and spiritual abnegation in Beethoven). His work takes a holistic view of the musical languages of the long 18th century, combining viewpoints from schema theory, Formenlehre, topic theory, and historical pedagogies. Along these lines, Professor Byros is currently working on a book project that examines musical creativity in the long eighteenth century from theoretical, analytic, and artistic/practical vantage points. In recent years, Byros has been developing period (or historically informed) approaches to composition, with period compositions of his own, as extensions of his work in historically informed listening, while drawing parallels with historically informed performance. He has presented papers at numerous national, international, and regional conferences in North America and Europe, and has been invited to present research at various venues in the United States and Europe. He is also coordinator and course-designer of the advanced music theory curriculum at Northwestern, which is based on 18th-century period composition. Additional recent teaching includes upper-level and graduate courses on subjects ranging from classical form and advanced tonal analysis, to seminars on schema theory and historical informed musicking. He previously taught at Yale University (2005-09) and Indiana University, Bloomington (2009-10).  Visit his personal web site.


Tonal Recall (12/17/15)