Professor, Music TheoryChair, Music Theory & Composition Division Music Theory & Composition Division
B.A.,University of Virginia; M.A., Ph.D., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
Dora A. Hanninen is a music theorist whose work engages broad questions in the theory and philosophy of music analysis, such as the nature and interpretation of repetition, musical sound, segmentation, and association and categorization. Her analytic writings have focused on twentieth-century and contemporary music including music by Babbitt, Cage, Feldman, Morris, Nancarrow, Riley, Swift, Webern, and Wolpe. Professor Hanninen regularly teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate offerings have included Theory in Analysis, Theory and Analysis of Atonal and Twelve-tone Music, Analysis of Twentieth-Century Works by American Composers, Performance and Analysis (co-taught with Prof. James Stern), and Theories of Rhythm, Meter, and Temporality.
In 2010, Dr. Hanninen received the Society for Music Theory’s Outstanding Publication Award for “Associative Sets, Categories, and Music Analysis” (Journal of Music Theory 48/2, 2004). Her book, A Theory of Music Analysis: On Segmentation and Associative Organization, was published by the University of Rochester Press in December, 2012, and has received reviews in Music Theory Online, Notes, and the Journal of Music Theory. Other writings include "Orientations, Criteria, Segments: A General Theory of Segmentation for Music Analysis" (Journal of Music Theory 45/2, 2001); "A Theory of Recontextualization in Music: Analyzing Phenomenal Transformations of Repetition (Music Theory Spectrum 25/1, 2003), "Association and the Emergence of Form in Two Works by Stefan Wolpe" (The Open Space Magazine 6, 2004), "Feldman, Analysis, Experience" (Twentieth-Century Music 1/2, 2004), " 'What is about, is also of, also is': Words, Musical Organization, and Boretz's Language ,as a music Part I, 'Thesis'" (Perspectives of New Music 44/2, 2006); "Species Concepts in Biology and Perspectives on Association in Music Analysis" (Perspectives of New Music 47/1, 2009); “What Words Cannot Express (Music Does)” (Music Theory Spectrum 34/1, 2012); “Regarding Music and Apperception: Locating ‘Sound’ in Tonal and Post-tonal Contexts” (in Organized Sound, edited by Christian Utz, 2013); “Asking Questions / Making Music: Listening, Analysis, and Cage” (Music Theory Online 20/2/4, June 2014); and “Nature and Music in Robert Morris’s Indoor Music: On strange flowers, occasional storms” (Perspectives of New Music 52/2, 2014).
Dr. Hanninen has presented invited talks at various universities around the United States, as well as at national, international, and regional meetings of the Society for Music Theory, Biennial International Conference on Twentieth-Century Music, Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic, Music Theory Society of New York State, New England Conference of Music Theorists, Music Theory Midwest, Stefan Wolpe Society, Music & Nature Symposium, and New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University. She has served on program committees for the Society for Music Theory and the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic (the latter also as Program Chair); on the editorial boards of Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory Online, Theory and Practice, and Intégral; and as co-editor of a special issue of Perspectives of New Music. A former member of the Society for Music Theory’s Executive Board (2007-2010), she became President of the Society for Music Theory in November of 2015.