Stephen Rodgers

Stephen Rodgers's picture
Associate Professor of Music Theory and Musicianship
201 Collier
PhD 2005, Music Theory, Yale University
MPhil 2001, Music Theory, Yale University
BA 1998, Music & English, Lawrence University

Research Spotlight

Stephen Rodgers is associate professor of music theory and musicianship at the University of Oregon. Prior to coming to Oregon, he taught aural skills at his alma mater, Lawrence University, where he received his B.A. in Music and English (magna cum laude). He also taught music theory at Yale University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2005, with the help of a Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies.

Rodgers’ research reflects his interest in placing music analysis in a broader context by bringing it into contact with musicology, hermeneutics, literary theory, and other forms of humanistic inquiry. His publications and presentations have dealt mainly with text-music relations, program music, rhythm and meter, and musical form. His work has appeared in Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory Online, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, The Journal of Musicological Research, Current Musicology, Theoria, Indiana Theory Review, Chamber Music magazine, and the collection Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music (Routledge, 2006). Rodgers’s book Form, Program, and Metaphor in the Music of Berlioz (Cambridge University Press, 2009), the first devoted to Berlioz’s handling of musical form, considers how the shapes of Berlioz’s pieces are related to the poetic and dramatic sentiments that were his very reason for being. Currently he is working on a project about the relationship between music and the sounds of poetry. 

Rodgers’s work also extends beyond academia. He regularly gives pre-concert lectures for the Oregon Bach Festival, and is active as a tenor, having performed several lecture-recitals throughout the United States. He recently wrote a one-hour episode about song in the 1830s and 40s for Thomas Hampson’s upcoming radio series Song: Mirror of the World, which builds upon his highly successful Song of America series. The new series is scheduled to air in spring 2015.

Rodgers is currently associate editor of Music Theory Online, a journal of the Society for Music Theory. Music Theory Online is a leading journal in the field with peer-reviewed scholarship that combines text and multimedia (sound files, video, and animation). The journal publishes articles in all areas of music theory, including the analysis of popular music, world music traditions, and performance; mathematical music theory; Schenkerian theory; and music theory pedagogy.


Selected Publications: 
  • Form, Program, and Metaphor in the Music of Berlioz, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • “The Fourth Dimension of a Song,” Music Theory Spectrum 37/1 (forthcoming in Spring 2015).
  • “Sentences With Words: Text and Theme-Type in Die schöne Müllerin,” Music Theory Spectrum 36/1 (Spring 2014): 58–85.
  • “Miniatures of a Monumentalist: Berlioz’s Romances, 1842–50,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review 10/1 (June 2013): 119–49.
  • Special Festschrift edition of Music Theory Online 18/3, in memory of Steve Larson, co-edited with Henry Martin and Keith Waters.
  • “Review of Yonatan Malin, Songs in Motion: Rhythm and Meter in the German Lied,” Journal of Musicological Research 31/2–3 (2012): 204–09.
  • “Fanny Hensel’s Lied Aesthetic,” Journal of Musicological Research 30/3 (2011): 175–201.
  • “Thinking (and Singing) in Threes: Triple Hypermeter and the Songs of Fanny Hensel,” Music Theory Online 17/1 (April 2011).
  • “Review of Matthew Santa, Hearing Form: Musical Analysis With and Without the Score,” Music Theory Online 16/3 (August 2010).
  • “Music Smashed to Pieces: The Destructive Logic of Berlioz’s Roméo au tombeau,” Current Musicology 89 (Spring 2010): 37–73
  • “Paradigms, Prototypes, and Other Analytical Adventures: A Review of Kofi Agawu’s Music as Discourse,” Theoria 16 (2009): 111–128.
  • “Mania and Musical Metaphor in the First Movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique,” inSounding Off: Music and Disability Studies, ed. Joseph Straus and Neil Lerner, 235–256, Routledge, 2006.
  • “‘This Body That Beats’: Roland Barthes and Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana,” Indiana Theory Review 18/2 (Fall 1997) [published 2000]: 75–91.