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, listening, and pedagogical practices of the long 18th century. Taking a holistic view, which combines perspectives from schema theory, Formenlehre, topic theory, and historical pedagogies, his work aims to reconstruct “insider” perspectives on music of the period. He has published or has work forthcoming in Music AnalysisMusic Theory OnlineEighteenth-Century MusicThe Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory (ed. Danuta Mirka), Musica HumanaTheory and Practice, What Is a Cadence? (ed. Markus Neuwirth and Pieter Bergé), Intégral, The Oxford Handbook of Music and Corpus Studies (ed. Daniel Shanahan, Ashley Burgoyne, and Ian Quinn) and The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven’s EroicaSymphony (ed. Nancy November). Byros’ research has dealt with issues of key perception and tonality, interactions between local and large-scale musical grammars, intersections between syntax and semantics, musical meaning and communication, and how partimenti and other historical pedagogical documents relate to free composition. He is currently working on a book project on period composition from technical, aesthetic, and philosophical positions, through the lens of his own historical compositions. In 2017, he received the Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory for his article published in Music Theory Online, Prelude on a Partimento: Invention in the Compositional Pedagogy of the German States in the Time of J. S. Bach. Also in 2017, he was awarded the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship, Northwestern University’s highest recognition of teaching excellence and curricular innovation. He has been on the Faculty Honor Roll of Northwestern’s Associated Student Government three years in a row (2015–18). Byros 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. Visit his personal web site.