Noted music theorist to visit Indiana State

March 13 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - An expert in the field of music theory will be on the Indiana State University campus in conjunction with The James W. Barnes Lectureship in Music March 18 and 19.

Roger Graybill is chair of the theory department at New England Conservatory, where he has been on the faculty since 2000. He served on the theory faculty at the University of Texas at Austin from 1984-2000. One of his former students is Kevin Clifton, assistant professor of music at Indiana State.

“When I was working with Kevin at the University of Texas at Austin, it was obvious to me that he had great promise both as a teacher and scholar, and I have always seen him as a consummate musician. He and I have been in frequent contact over the years, but this is actually the first time I will have a chance to see him in his element as a faculty member. I look forward to seeing him again during my visit, and am also excited about meeting his colleagues and students,” Graybill said.

Graybill’s research has focused on rhythm and gesture, the music of Brahms, and theory pedagogy, and he has co-authored (with Stefan Kostka) the “Anthology of Music for Analysis.” A member of the Executive Board of the Society for Music Theory (SMT) between 1998 and 2001, he also served as chair of the program committee for the national joint AMS/SMT meeting in 1997. In addition to his work as a theorist, Graybill has extensive experience as a church organist.

“I believe that the ultimate objective of music theory training is to help the student to experience music -- whether as a performer, conductor, or listener -- with heightened awareness and imagination. My job as a theory teacher is to discern what students do know, and to help them build on that so that they can sharpen your skills, and deepen their musical understanding, in a way that will help them as a practicing musician,” he said.

While at Indiana State, Graybill will deliver two lectures and conduct a rhythm and movement workshop.

The first lecture, “Identifying Departure/Arrival Points in Music: Implications for Performing, Conducting and Listening,” will be presented Tuesday, March 18 at 11 a.m. in the Recital Hall of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts. The second lecture, “Action and Narrative in Chamber Music: Two Movements by Brahms and Mozart,” will be given to Music 445 students Wednesday, March 19 at noon in room 150 in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

The rhythm workshop, scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 in room 159 of the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, will explore the relationship between musical rhythm and physical movement.

“We will start with the assumption will our response to musical rhythm arises from the very fact that we have physical bodies, and that physical movement can provide us with a valuable tool for experiencing musical rhythm more deeply,” Graybill said.

The session will also explore how the character of a passage of music shapes, and is shaped by, these forces.

Graybill is not only looking forward to re-connecting with Clifton but also visiting Indiana State.

“I an honored to have been chosen for this year's Barnes Lectureship. This will be my first visit to the Indiana State campus, and I'm looking forward to my time there,” he said.

The James W. Barnes Lectureship in Music was established in the fall of 1982 on the occasion of James Barnes' retirement from the Indiana State University Department of Music. Dr. Barnes served the University for 35 years. From 1964 to 1973 he was music department chairman. He was conductor of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra from 1940-1970.

Friends, relatives, and former students contributed to this lectureship which was established for the purpose of bringing to campus outstanding lecturers, performers, conductors, or teachers in the areas of Barnes’ interests - music theory, conducting, strings, music education and administration.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the lectureship and surrounding events, contact Tim Crain, assistant professor of music, at 812-237-2792 or email .


Contact: Tim Crain, music department, (812) 237-2792 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or

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An expert in the field of music theory will be on the Indiana State University campus in conjunction with The James W. Barnes Lectureship in Music March 18 and 19.

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