Contributing Areas


Musicology Faculty Research embraces a wide range of topics with a particular emphasis on American music, including women in musical life, Hollywood film music, jazz in New Orleans, and online musical communities, among others. In addition to completing a rigorous coursework regime, students develop professional skills through conference presentations and TA assignments in Western art music, world music, and popular music courses.

Music Theory

The Music Theory Area at the University of Iowa comprises a small group of scholars doing cutting-edge research in areas such as transformational theory, popular music, critical theory, modal theory, and history of theory. Our research expertise spans the Renaissance era through the early 21st century.


The Composition Faculty teach individual composition lessons at two levels: undergraduate composition for students working toward the Bachelor of Music degree and graduate composition for composers in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs.

Recent News

Fireworks on the University of Iowa Pentecrest.

Cody Norling on May Valentine’s Winding Path through American Opera

Tuesday, October 4, 2022
University of Iowa School of Music
Cody Norling (PhD candidate, Musicology) has a new article out in American Music (40:1) titled “Making an American Opera Career: Conductor May Valentine (1890-1974) and a Woman’s Role(s) in the Business of Opera.”
Drone Image of Campus.

Matthew Arndt on Expression, Music, and Language

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
University of Iowa School of Music
With assistance from the University of Iowa School of Music, Matthew Arndt presented a poster on musical sentences at the First Biennial Conference on Expression, Music, and Language, held at the University of Connecticut August 20–22, 2022.

Join Us For Colloquium!

All colloquium presentations are 1:30–2:20 pm on Fridays in Classroom 2 on the Basement Level of the Voxman Music Building, unless otherwise noted.

The University of Iowa Musicology and Music Theory and Composition Colloquium Series puts Students, Faculty, and University Community Members in dialogue with a range of experts in related fields. Invited guests have included Holly Watkins (Eastman School of Music), Will Robin (University of Maryland), Dwandalyn R. Reece (National Museum of African American History and Culture), Nadine Hubbs (University of Michigan), Gabriel Solis (University of Illinois), Sherrie Tucker (University of Kansas), Mark Katz (UNC-Chapel Hill), Neil Lerner (Davidson College), Glenn Watkins (University of Michigan), Carol Oja (Harvard University), Douglas Shadle (Vanderbilt University), Wendy Heller (Princeton University), and Anne Walters Robertson (University of Chicago). In addition to formal presentations, the annual calendar of events routinely includes work-in-progress presentations by university students and faculty, and professional development workshops on everything from resumes and cover letters to the design of music curriculums and digital humanities projects. 

Zoom Links will be available for the foreseeable future. 

Check back for updates!



Click the "Hawkeyes In The Field" button to learn more about what past Musicology and Music Theory and Composition Hawkeyes are up to now. 




Faculty Activities