Sean Atkinson, PhD portrait

Sean Atkinson

Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Jarvis 312 | 817-257-5417


Ph.D, Music Theory - Florida State University
MM, Music Theory - Florida State University
BM, Trombone Performance and Music Theory - Furman University

Courses Taught

Elementary Theory
Advanced Theory
Elementary Ear Training
Advanced Ear Training
Music and Meaning (Graduate Music Theory Seminar)
Music Analysis: 1880-1950
Society Through Multimedia (Honors College Colloquium Course)
Form and Analysis

Areas of Focus

Multimedia Analysis, including opera, video, film, video games, etc.; Post-tonal Analysis, with a focus on minimalist music; Music Theory Pedagogy, with a focus on Flipped-Classroom teaching

“Deceptive Love and Denied Endings: Tropes in the Music of Billy Joel.” Popular Music, forthcoming.

“Aspects of Otherness in John Adams’s Nixon in China.” Dutch Journal of Music Theory, Volume 18, Number 3.

“Musical, Textual, and Visual Meanings in Bang on a Can’s Lost Objects.” Indiana Theory Review, Volume 30, Number 2.

“Canons, Augmentations, and Their Meaning in Two Works by Steve Reich.” Music Theory Online 17.1.

“Deceptive Love: The Impact of Deceptive Motion in Billy Joel’s ‘She’s Got a Way’ and ‘She’s Always a Woman.’” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”: The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel, A Public Musicology Conference, October 2016, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Flipped Classroom Strategies for Music Theory Instruction.” Special Pedagogy Presentation at the Texas Society for Music Theory, February 2016.

“Topics in Video Game Music: The Sky in Recent Nintendo Franchise Games.” North American Conference on Video Game Music, January 2016, Davidson, North Carolina.

“Without Text: Meaning in *Einstein on the Beach* from the sonic and visual domain.” Semiotic Society of America National Conference, October 2015, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“Steve Reich’s Phase Music Reconsidered,” Society for Music Theory, November 2014, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Full CV

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Society for Music Theory

Texas Society for Music Theory

Semiotic Society of America

Pi Kappa Lambda