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Photo of Scott Murphy

Scott Murphy

Associate Professor, Music Theory
Director, Division of Music Theory & Music Composition
Primary office:
785-864-2229
220 Murphy Hall

Ph.D. Eastman School of Music; M.M. University of Kansas; M.M. University of Kansas; B.M. University of Kansas; B.M. University of Kansas

Scott Murphy has taught music theory at the University of Kansas since 2001. He holds a PhD in Music Theory from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, and MM degrees in both Musicology and Music Composition and BM degrees in both Music Theory and Music Composition from the University of Kansas. He won two teaching awards from the University of Rochester and three teaching awards from KU, including the 2009 Byron Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He has published articles on a variety of topics, including new approaches to works by Haydn, Ives, Bartók, and Penderecki. But much of his current research concentrates on film music analysis and new conceptions of meter, especially with regards to the music of Brahms. His article "On Metre in the Rondo of Brahms's Op. 25" in Music Analysis won the 2009 Emerging Scholar Award from the Society for Music Theory. His research also appears or is forthcoming in IntégralJournal of Music TheoryMusic Theory OnlineMusic Theory SpectrumPerspectives of New Music, and Twentieth-Century Music, and in the books Oxford Handbook of Film Music StudiesTerror Tracks, and The Music of Fantasy Cinema. He has presented his research at conferences in Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Korea, Portugal, and Scotland, as well as in many places through North America. He has been invited to speak at many universities, including Florida State University, University of Chicago, University of Texas (Austin), and Yale University.
 
He is a past president of Music Theory Midwest. He also currently serves on the Intégral editorial board, and previously served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Online and Journal of Film Music. His previous professional pursuits include serving as organist and director of music at churches in Lawrence and Rochester, performing background piano music in local restaurants, and writing music for local film and television productions. He is married to Joy Kimball Murphy, MD, and has two children Ian and Claire.

Selected Awards & Grants

2009

  • Society of Music Theory's Emerging Scholar Award
  • University of Kansas Edwin Shutz Award for Excellence in Teaching

2007

  • University of Kansas Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award

2004

  • KU Center for Teaching Excellence Teacher Appreciation Recognition

1999

  • University of Rochester Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by a Graduate Student

1998

  • Eastman School of Music Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching

1994

  • University of Kansas Anthony B. Cius Music Composition Award

Selected Professional Experience

Teaching

  • Associate Professor, University of Kansas, 2007-present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Kansas, 2001-2006
  • Instructor, Eastman School of Music, 2000-2001

Other Professional Experience

  • Director of Music and Service Organist, Trinity Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Rochester, NY, 1998-2000
  • Director of Music and Interim Organist, Central United Methodist Church, Lawrence, KS, 1993-1997 

Selected Research

Articles

  • “Scoring Loss in Recent Popular Film and Television,” Music Theory Spectrum(forthcoming)
  • “Brahms’s Op. 32/4 With a Twist,” Newsletter of the American Brahms Society 27/2 (Fall 2009): 1-5
  • “Metric Cubes in Some Music of Brahms,” Journal of Music Theory 53/1 (Spring 2009): 1-56
  • “A Composite Analysis of Ives's 'Cage',” twentieth-century music 5/2 (Fall 2008): 175-193
  • “A Model of Melodic Expectation in Some Neo-Romantic Music of Penderecki,”Perspectives of New Music 25/1 (Winter 2007): 6-42
  • “On Metre in the Rondo of Brahms’s Op. 25,” Music Analysis 26/3 (October 2007): 323-353
  • “Considering Network Recursion and Bartók’s ‘Fourths’,” Music Theory Online 13/3 (September 2007) Click here for more information.»
  • “The Major Tritone Progression in Recent Hollywood Science Fiction Films,” Music Theory Online 12/2 (May 2006) Click here for more information.»

Book Chapters

  • “Transformational Theory and the Analysis of Film Music,” In The Oxford Handbook of Film Music Studies, edited by David Neumeyer (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • “The Tritone Within: Interpreting Harmony in Elliot Goldenthal’s Score for Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within,” In The Music of Fantasy Cinema, edited by Janet Halfyard (London: Equinox Publishing, 2012), 148-174
  • “An Audiovisual Foreshadowing in Psycho” In Terror Tracks: Music, Sound, and Horror Cinema, edited by Philip Hayward (London: Equinox Publishing, 2006), 47-59

Courses currently or recently taught include:

Undergraduate:

  • Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint
  • Theory III (Tonal Chromatic Music)
  • Tonal Form and Post-Tonal Techniques

Graduate:

  • Advanced Tonal Form
  • Analysis of Chromatic Tonal Music
  • Computers in Music Research
  • Film Music Analysis
  • Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis
  • Meter and Form in Brahms
  • Music and Mathematics 

Multimedia

Excerpts from "Geometrizing Meters in Three Dimensions"

video platform video management video solutionsvideo player

The "Penderecki Tree" from the article "A Model of Melodic Expectation for Some Neo-Romantic Music of Penderecki," Perspectives of New Music 25/1 (Winter 2007): 184-222


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