Christopher Hasty

Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music
Theory (on leave, fall 20)
Music Building 3

Professor Hasty’s scholarly work engages problems in the theory and analysis of music from the 16th to the 20th centuries from the standpoint of process and experience. His book, Meter as Rhythm (1997) won the Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory for the Outstanding Music Theory Book of the Year. His current research interests include process philosophy, poetic prosody, and ecological and post-cognitivist psychology.

Professor Hasty received his PhD in Music Theory from Yale University, after earning an M.M. in Composition from the Yale School of Music. At Yale he studied composition with Jacob Druckman and Krzysztof Penderecki, and Schenkerian analysis with Allen Forte. His dissertation research centered on theories of process segmentation and the work of Stephan Wolpe. Prior to attending Yale, Professor Hasty studied composition with Wolfgang Fortner and Bassoon with Johannes Zuther at Freiburg Musikhochschule, and he received his B.M. from Stetson University, Pi Kappa Lambda. Professor Hasty has taught at Rutgers University, Yale University, where he founded the undergraduate Chamber Music Performance Program, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and directed the College House Music Program. He joined the Harvard faculty in 2002 as the Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music.

Most recently his publications include “The Image of Thought and Ideas of Music” in Sounding the Virtual: Gilles Deleuze and the Theory and Philosophy of Music, eds. Brian Hulse, Nick Nesbit (2010); “If Music is Ongoing Experience, What Might Music Theory Be: A Suggestion from the Drastic” in Musiktheorie/ Musikwissenschaft: Geschichte-Methoden-Perspectiven, eds. Tobias Janz, Jan Sprick (2011); “Learning in Time” in Visions of Research in Music Education, vol. 20 (2012); “From Object to Event” in Wechselnde Erscheinung: Sechs Perspectiven auf Anton Webern’s “Sechste Bagatelle”, ed. Simon Obert (Webern Studien, Beihefte der Anton Webern Gesamtausgabe Band I, 2012); “Rhythmicizing the Subject” in Musical Implications: Studies in Honor of Eugene Narmour, eds. Lawrence Bernstein, Lex Rozin (2013); and “Experimenting with Rhythm” in Rhythmus, Balance, Metrum, eds. Christian Grüny, Matteo Nanni (2014).

Among works now in progress are a book on the rhythmic formation of event, “Thinking with Rhythm,” and a proposal for a process-oriented theory of poetic prosody for the volume The Nature of Rhythm: Aesthetics, Music, Poetics, eds. Andrew Hamilton, Max Paddison (2014). Professor Hasty recently co-chaired an international conference for the cross-cultural study of musical rhythm with Professors Richard Wolf (Harvard) and Stephen Blum (NYU) and is currently co-editing a volume of essays related to the conference, Thought and Play in Musical Rhythm.

Professor Hasty was Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Music Theory (1987–90); a member of the Editorial Board of Music Theory Spectrum (1982–1987); and he is currently a member of the Advisory Panel for Music Analysis (2001–present). He has given keynote addresses, master classes, and presentations at several advanced research institutes, including the Max Plank Institute, Berlin; the Golandsky Institute, Princeton; the Mannes Institute, NY; the Penn Humanities Forum; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies; and at numerous universities, including Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, University of Basel, University of Chicago, and Yale. He has served in several administrative positions and chaired sessions for the Society for Music Theory. Professor Hasty’s compositions have most recently been performed by the White Rabbit Ensemble in the Harvard Group for New Music Series, and by the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Strasbourg National Conservatory. At Harvard he serves on a number of committees, including The Office for the Arts, and he has been Chair of the Composer Fellowship Committee at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.