Saturday 29th November 2014

(10.00 am – 5.00 pm)

Cardiff University, School of Music

The Society for Music Analysis is launching its first Music Analysis Workshop, organised in conjunction with Cardiff University’s School of Music, which will host the event on Saturday 29 November 2014 (10 am – 5 pm). This is the first of what we envision as a series of workshops, designed to benefit and empower graduate students who do not feel confident in music analysis as well as more experienced candidates willing to explore new or less familiar methods. Challenging negative preconceptions, it aims to make analytical methodologies comfortable for and useful to anyone interested in enriching their interpretations of musical works. The event consists of two interactive workshops lasting two hours each as well as individual surgeries: see description below, followed by the call for participants.

Workshop 1: Orient(at)ing Oneself in Post-Tonal Theory

(Dr Charles Wilson, Cardiff University)

Post-tonal theory is still castigated by some for its ‘number crunching’, or at least its narrowness of focus and abstracted formalist concerns.  But, in allowing us to rethink musical categories from the ground up, post-tonal theory poses fundamental questions about the nature of musical ‘observables’ and how they might relate to ‘perceptibles’.  This interactive session will cover not only basic concepts in set-class theory but also the dramatic changes of orientation they underwent in the transformational approaches of David Lewin and Richard Cohn, approaches that have since informed Dmitri Tymoczko’s notion of an ‘extended common practice’.  Such approaches demonstrate that, far from operating in some remote enclave of the discipline, post-tonal theory can prompt fresh hermeneutic approaches and imaginative engagements with, for example, issues of subjectivity and agency.

Workshop 2: What We Hear-See and See-Hear: A Musical Introduction to the Audio-Visual Analysis of Screen Media

(Dr Nicholas Reyland, Keele University)

This interactive workshop will teach participants a range of productive approaches to music-centred readings of film, TV and other screen media through the application of key techniques. It will also outline the hierarchy of interacting musical parameters that the screen analyst must consider – the nature of which hierarchy, in turn, raises important questions about other domains of music analysis – plus a series of key concepts that will enable participants to develop their own approach.

A limited number of 30-minute surgeries can be arranged individually alongside or in between the workshop sessions with members of staff at the hosting department. These one-to-one consultations offer an opportunity to discuss specific analytical issues and/or piece(s) of music with an experienced tutor, and are open to participants at all levels of expertise. The event will be concluded by a roundtable discussion.

Call for participants

Expressions of interest are to be sent to Martin Curda ( by Friday 7th November 2014.

If you are interested in arranging an individual consultation, please include a short description of the subject you would like to discuss. Please note that the number of individual surgeries we can provide is limited and that preference may be given to subjects matching the expertise of the tutors.

The workshop includes a buffet lunch: please specify any dietary requirements you might have.

You do not have to be a member of the SMA to attend, but note that members are eligible for travel bursaries. For information on membership fees and travel bursaries see the SMA’s website ( or contact Dr David Bretherton (​).