Professor of Music at The School of Music, Northwestern University
Telephone: (home) 847–986–4264 (office) 847–491–5721
Electronic Mail:
Mailing Address: 1505 Portia Road, Grayslake, Illinois 60030


Univ. of Pennsylvania,....Ph.D.......1984, Music History and Theory
University of Hawaii,......M.A.......1980, Music Theory and Ethnomusicology
Calif. Inst. of the Arts,.....B.F.A.....1974, Music Composition

Teaching Positions

1995–Present.......Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (music theory, cognition, and history)
1990–95................SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY (music theory and history)
1990.......................Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (fugue, 18th-century music)
1987–88................Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (18th-century music)
1984–89................Carleton College, Northfield, MN (music theory, world music, psych. of music)
1984.......................Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (music history)
1975–76.................U.S. Military Band School, Norfolk, VA (music theory)


Music in the Galant Style: Being an Essay on Various Schemata Characteristic of Eighteenth-Century Music for Courtly Chambers, Chapels, and Theaters, Including Tasteful Passages of Music Drawn from Most Excellent Chapel Masters in the Employ of Noble and Noteworthy Personages, Said Music All Collected for the Reader’s Delectation on the World Wide Web (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Studies on the Origin of Harmonic Tonality [an English translation of Carl Dahlhaus's Untersuchungen über die Entstehung der harmonischen Tonalität ] (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).

A Classic Turn of Phrase: Music and the Psychology of Convention (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988).


Monuments of Partimenti: A Series Presenting the Great Collections of Instructional Music Intended for the Training of European Court Musicians. Supported by a Scholarly Editions Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2004–2007).

Monuments of Solfeggi: A Series Presenting the Great Collections of Instructional Music Intended for the Training of European Court Musicians. Supported by a Scholarly Editions Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2008–2011)


United States Patent 6,539,395, Gjerdingen, et al. March 25, 2003: Method for creating a database for comparing music.
United States Patent Application 20020002899, Gjerdingen, Robert O.; et al. January 10, 2002: System for content based music searching.

Articles    (Some online versions may be found here.)

"Gebrauchs-Formulas," in Music Theory Spectrum 33, (2011): 191–199.

"Psychologists and Musicians, Then and Now," in The Psychology of Music, 3rd ed., ed. Diana Deutsch (Los Angeles: University of California Press): forthcoming.

“Mozart’s Obviously Corrupt Minuet,” Music Analysis 29, (2011): 61–82.

“Revisiting Intra- and Extraopus Style,” A Festschrift for Eugene Narmour (2011): forthcoming.

“Partimenti Written to Impart a Knowledge of Counterpoint and Composition,” in Partimento and Continuo Playing in Theory and Practice: Collected Writings of the Orpheus Institute 9 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2010): 43–70 [an address for the 2006 Orpheus Institute].

“The Perfection of Craft Training in the Neapolitan Conservatories,“ Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale 15 (2009): 26–49.

“Meyer and Music Usage,” Musica Humana 1 (2009): 197–224 [a special issue on Leonard B. Meyer, guest ed. Robert O. Gjerdingen].

“Partimento, Que Me Veux-Tu?” Journal of Music Theory 52 (2009): 85–135 [a special issue on partimenti, guest ed. Robert O. Gjerdingen].

“The Symphony in France,” in Mary Sue Morrow and Bathia Churgin, eds., The Eighteenth-Century Symphony (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press, 2012): 551–570.

“Scanning the Dial: The Rapid Recognition of Music Genres,” with David Perrott, in Jean-Julien Aucouturier and Elias Pampalk, eds., Journal of New Music Research 37 (2008): 93–100.

“Images of Galant Music in Neapolitan Partimenti and Solfeggi,” in Improvisatorische Praxis vom Mittelalter bis zum 18. Jahrhundert, Regula Rapp and Thomas Drescher, eds., Basler Jahrbuch für historische Musikpraxis: Eine Publikation der Schola Cantorum Basiliensis—Hochschule für Alte Musik an der Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel 31 (2007): 131–148.

Lead Editorial, Eighteenth-Century Music 4 (2007): 187–189.

“Deutsch, Diana” in Kristine H. Burns, ed. Women and Music in America Since 1900 , vol. 1. pp. 149–150 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002).

“Krumhansl, Carol” in Kristine H. Burns, ed. Women and Music in America Since 1900 , vol. 1. pp. 357 –358 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002).

“The Psychology of Music” in Thomas Christensen, ed. The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory , pp. 956–981 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

“An Experimental Music Theory?” in N. Cook and M. Everest, eds. Rethinking Music , vol. 2, pp. 161–170, (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999).

“Courtly Behavior,” Music Perception 13 (1996) [a special issue devoted to essays on the adagio first movement of Mozart's Eb Major Keyboard Sonata]: 365–382.

“Apparent Motion in Music?” Music Perception 11 (1994): 335–370; reprinted in N. Griffith & P. Todd, eds. Musical Networks: Parallel Distributed Perception and Performance , pp.141–174 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999).

“'Smooth' Rhythms as Probes of Entrainment,” Music Perception 10 (1993): 503–508.

“Learning Syntactically Significant Temporal Patterns of Chords: A Masking Field Embedded in an ART 3 Architecture,” Neural Networks 5 (1992): 551–564.

“Revisiting Meyer's ‘Grammatical Simplicity and Relational Richness,'” in M. R. Jones and S. Holleran, eds. Cognitive Bases of Musical Communication , pp. 225–243 (Arlington, VA: APA Books, 1992).

“Defining a Prototypical Utterance,” Psychomusicology 10 (1991): 127–139.

“A Guide to the Terminology of German Harmony,” in Studies on the Origin of Harmonic Tonality , pp. xi–xv (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1990).

“Categorization of Musical Patterns by Self-Organizing Neuronlike Networks,” Music Perception 7 (1990): 339–370.

“Meter as a Mode of Attending: A Network Simulation of Attentional Rhythmicity in Music,” Integral 3 (1989): 67–92.

“Using Connectionist Models to Explore Complex Musical Patterns,” Computer Music Journal 13 (1989): 67–75; reprinted with an addendum in P. M. Todd and D. G. Loy, eds. Music and Connectionism , pp. 138–149 (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991).

“Concrete Musical Knowledge and a Computer Program for Species Counterpoint,” in R. Solie and E. Narmour, eds. Explorations in Music, the Arts, and Ideas , pp. 199–220 (New York: Pendragon Press, 1988) [a Festschrift for Leonard B. Meyer].

“Shape and Motion in the Microstructure of Song,” Music Perception 6 (1988): 35–64.

“Revisiting a Hypothesis of Archetypes in Early Western Chant,” co-authored with Thomas H. Connolly, in Die Formung einer europäischen musikalischen Kultur im Mittelalter , ed. Fritz Reckow (Kassel: Baerenreiter Verlag, in press).

“The Formation and Deformation of Classic/Romantic Phrase Schemata: A Theoretical Model and Historical Study,” Music Theory Spectrum 8 (1986): 25–43.

Reviews    (Some online versions may be found here.)

“Communication in Eighteenth-Century Music, ed. by Danuta Mirka and Kofi Agawu,” in Eighteenth Century Music 7 (2010): 121–124.

“The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures by David Temperley,” in Music Theory Spectrum, 26 (2004): 336–340.

“What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis by Ken Stephenson,” in Music Perception, 20 (2003): 491–497.

“Harmonic Function in Chromatic Music: A Renewed Dualist Theory and an Account of Its Precedents by Daniel Harrison,” in Integral (1995): 91–98.

“The Analysis and Cognition of Melodic Complexity: The Implication-Realization Model by Eugene Narmour,” in Notes, (1994): 1430–1432.

“The Analysis and Cognition of Basic Melodic Structures: The Implication-Realization Model by Eugene Narmour,” in Notes, (1992): 588–590.

“Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch by Carol L. Krumhansl,” in Music Perception, 9 (1992): 476–492.

“The Rhythms of Tonal Music by Joel Lester,” in Journal of Music Theory, 34 (1990): 101–107.


“A Musical Schema: Structure and Style Change, 1720–1900” (Univ. of Pennsylvania, Dec. 1984).

Academic Honors and Grants

(SMT = Society for Music Theory; AMS = American Musicological Society; NEH = National Endowment for the Humanities)

2010 Northwestern Alumnae Grant, for research on the 19th-cent. fugue d'ecole
2009 Wallace Berry Award, SMT outstanding book, for Music in the Galant Style
2008 NEH Scholarly Editions Grant (3 years, $200K)
2007 Theorist in Residence: Dutch-Flemish Society for Music Theory
2007 University Research Grant, Northwestern University
2006 Dragan Plamenac Publication Endowment Fund, AMS
2006 Keynote Address, SMT Annual Meeting, L.A.
2004 NEH Scholarly Editions Grant (3 years, $100K)
2004 University Research Grant, Northwestern University
2003 University Research Grant, Northwestern University
1995 William Poland Memorial Lecturer, The Ohio State University
1993 Center Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto
1993 Invited Residency, Indiana University
1992 Invited Residency, Jyväskylä University, Finland
1989 Ford Cognitive Science Grant, Carleton College
1987 Mellon Faculty Fellowship, Harvard University
1983 NEH Translation Grant
1982 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities
1980 University Fellowship, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Music Industry

Vice President for Music Taxonomy, MoodLogic, Inc., San Francisco, CA 2000–2001.

Military Service

1974–1977 United States Army. Instructor, Military Band School, Norfolk, Virginia
and Bandsman, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Recent Lectures

2011 – Invited Lectures, U. Calif. at Davis, Stanford University, The Mozart Society. U. Colo. at Boulder, and the China Conservatory, Beijing.

2010 – Invited Lectures, University of Chicago, Cornell University, Haverford College, Pasquini Symposium (Smarano, Italy); Keynote Speaker, Indiana Graduate Student Symposium; Paper, AMS Indianapolis.

2009 – Invited Lectures, Princeton University, West Chester University; Visiting Fellow, Univ. of Durham (UK), April; Faculty, Mannes Institute, June.

2008 – Leader, Study day on formulaic music, The Sorbonne, Paris; Leader, Workshop on Music Schemata, Orpheus Institute, Ghent; Paper and Special Session, AMS, Nashville

2007 – Paper, Annual meeting, Gruppo Analisi e Teoria Musicale, Rimini; Paper, 6th European Music Analysis Conference, Freiburg; Paper, Annual Meeting, Society for Music Theory, Baltimore; Paper, Symposium on Improvisation, Schola Cantorum, Basel; Leader, 3-Day Workshop on Partimenti, Conservatorium van Amsterdam

2006 – Faculty, International Orpheus Academy, Music & Theory: “Thoroughbass in Practice, Theory, and Improvisation,” Ghent; Invited Lectures, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania; Keynote Address, Society for Music Theory (Los Angeles)

Professional Service

Chairman—Department of Academic Studies and Composition, Northwestern University (2001–2002).
Chairman—Faculty Executive Committee, The School of Music, Northwestern University (1998–1999).
Editor— Music Perception (1998–2002); Assoc. Ed. (1992–98); Contr. Ed. (1991–92).
Review Editor—Music Theory Online (1998–2000).
Executive Board—Society for Music Theory (1992–94).
Editorial Boards—Empirical Musicology Review (2005–), Integral (1989–2007), Journal of the American Musicological Society (1992–94), Journal of Music Theory (2006–10), Musica Humana (2007–), Music Theory Spectrum (2006-09), Eighteenth-Century Music (2009–11).
Advisory Board—Journal of Musicology (2008–).
Member—College of Reviewers: The Canada Research Chairs Program (2003–), Dean Search Committee, The School of Music, Northwestern University (2002).
Program Committees—Society for Music Theory (1992), Society for Music Perception and Cognition (1993, 1999), International Society for Music Perception and Cognition (1998–2004).
Referee—AMS, NEH, foreign theses, dissertations, and faculty appointments.