[Smt-talk] Theory impacting performance

Salley, Keith ksalley at su.edu
Thu Jul 5 15:49:58 PDT 2012

For what it may be worth:

I can reflect on my own experience on theory search committees (as a
regular member and as chair who has helped write job descriptions). A
common concern is that a composer really wants to teach composition, not
theory in the lecture hall. The fear of hiring a composer to teach theory
full-time comes from the dread that within a year or so, that composer will
want to teach comp lessons, and will have accrued a number of would-be
composition students (for which a dean or associate dean will be inclined
to accommodate).
At this point, a situation with two bad aspects arises. These aspects are
that the full-time theory teacher is no longer willing to teach a full-time
load in music theory (in this case, the applicant is re-writing his/her job
description) and also that the burden returns to the coordinator of music
theory to find qualified staff for those classes that no longer fit in the
composer's load.

I'm not ranting here, but this situation did happen to me within my first
year as a theory coordinator. I also think it's reasonable to assume that
(at least some) other institutions think along similar lines. So, this
probably is a factor that influences a number of committees who decide to
write job descriptions that require applicants have a degree in music

Certainly hope this isn't taken in the wrong way (meaning I don't want to
start anything, either). Similarly, I wouldn't want to be accused of
over-generalizing. Just thought I'd share this concern. I do enjoy working
alongside composers, and I quite often find their perspectives

best wishes,

On Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM, Steven Rosenhaus
<srosenhaus at earthlink.net>wrote:

> Again, my apologies to all for starting a ruckus about this. As I
> explained to Kris, I am =not= against theory-only degrees, or with hiring
> folks with them to teach theory. The problem I have is with the attitude --
> not promoted by most theorists I know but rather by the nameless committees
> who determine what qualifications are needed for a position -- that =only=
> people with theory degrees should apply for such a position.
> Really, that was it.
> Steven
> -------------------------------
> Dr. Steven L. Rosenhaus
> E-mail: srosenhaus at earthlink.net
> URL: https://files.nyu.edu/slr3/public/
> Other:
> http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lauraleon
> http://www.capstonerecords.org/CPS-8716.html
> http://www.capstonerecords.org/CPS-8616.html
> Link to "Writing Musical Theater" by Allen Cohen and Steven L. Rosenhaus:
> http://www.palgrave-usa.com/catalog/product.aspx?isbn=1403963959&printer=yes&
> _______________________________________________
> Smt-talk mailing list
> Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
> http://lists.societymusictheory.org/listinfo.cgi/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org

Keith Salley
Coordinator of Music Theory
the Shenandoah Conservatory
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20120705/7e895409/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list