Scott Murphy

Scott Murphy
  • Professor of Music Theory

Contact Info

220 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-3103


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. In this same year, he was named the Emerging Scholar by the Society for Music Theory (SMT).

He has published articles on a variety of topics, including new approaches to works by J.S. Bach, Haydn, C. Schumann, Ives, Bartók, Myaskovsky, and Penderecki, on film music analysis and new conceptions of musical time, especially with regards to the music of Brahms. His research appears in the journals Intégral (26); Journal of Music Theory (53/1); Music Analysis (26/3); Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (8/2); Music Theory and Analysis (5/1); Music Theory Online (12/2, 13/3, 22/3, 28/1); Music Theory Spectrum (36/2); MusMat: Brazilian Journal of Music and Mathematics (4/1); Perspectives of New Music (25/1); SMT-Pod: (1/1); SMT-V: The Society for Music Theory Videocast Journal (5/3, 8/2); Theory and Practice (44), and Twentieth-Century Music (5/2, 10/2); and in the books Analytical Approaches to 20th-Century Russian Music: Tonality, Modernism, SerialismOxford Handbook of Film Music StudiesTerror Tracks; and The Music of Fantasy Cinema. He edited Brahms and the Shaping of Time, a collection of essays analyzing rhythmic and metric aspects of selected works of Brahms, published by University of Rochester Press in 2018. The following year, this volume received the Outstanding Multi-Author Collection Award from SMT.

He was the founding editor of SMT-V: Videocast Journal of the Society for Music Theory. He also currently serves on the executive board of the American Brahms Society and on the editorial board of the journal Intégral, and previously served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Online and Journal of Film Music. He is a past president of Music Theory Midwest.


Ph.D., Music Theory, Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester

M.M., Music Composition, University of Kansas

M.M., Music History, with honors, University of Kansas

B.M., Music Composition, University of Kansas

B.M., Music Theory, University of Kansas