Reclaiming Musical Inequality

This thesis analyses selected preludes from the first book of J.S. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier, focusing on 846-869, focusing on the aesthetic issues that arise from discordance and concordance under two particular cases of well-temperament by Neidhardt. In comparing preludes on the sharp-side and flat-side of the circle of fifths, dominants were suppressed or emphasized in ways that corresponded to the degree of discordance that they projected in relation to their tonics.

Advisors: Ed Gollin (Williams College), Doris Stevenson (Williams College)

Expressive Timing and its Histories

This study examines the notion that there is – to borrow a term from Meyer (1989) – a rapid, external stylistic change in performance in the mid-twentieth century. In comparing aspects of tempo, rhythmic flexibility and the correlation between performances, this study also examines the methodological problems inherent in studying historical recordings from an empirical point of view. Finally, this paper examines how the expression of functionally ambiguous points in several of Debussy’s Préludes has changed over the course of the century.

Collaborators: Daniel Shanahan (Louisiana State University)

Conferences: South Central Society for Music Theory Conference, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. March 2018.

Interview with Prof. Leo Goldmahker

Remember when I did math? In this interview, we talk about the importance of creativity in mathematics, his unique mathematical upbringing in the Boston Math Circle, and overcoming imposter syndrome in graduate school.