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Áine Heneghan

Associate Professor of Music Theory


Áine Heneghan is associate professor of music theory at the University of Michigan. In spring 2019, she was visiting professor at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna). Previously she taught at the University of Washington, and before moving to the U.S., at University College Dublin, where she held a research fellowship, and at the University of Dublin, Trinity College, where she completed her PhD.

Her scholarly interests include the Second Viennese School, sketch and source study, history of theory (with an emphasis on theories of form), the analysis of world music, and digital humanities. She specializes in the music and theoretical writings of Arnold Schoenberg and is currently completing a book titled Schoenberg on Form (Oxford University Press). Her work is published (or forthcoming) in Music Theory SpectrumPerspectives of New Music, the Journal of Music Theory, the Journal of the Arnold Schönberg CenterMusic Theory & AnalysisTheory and Practice, Music Analysis, the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, and Notes, as well as in edited collections, including The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy.

She has undertaken extensive archival research in Europe and the U.S. on various topics relating to early twentieth-century musical thought—compositional, theoretical, pedagogical, and philosophical—and, more recently, on Irish musical manuscripts from the 1700s and 1800s. Professor Heneghan has presented her research at a variety of meetings (including the Society for Music Theory, American Musicological Society, International Musicological Society, Society for Music Analysis, and Royal Musical Association) and given invited lectures in North America and Europe. She has also been a fellow at the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory. Her research has been supported by various institutional grants as well as awards from the American Association of University Women, the Österreichischer Austauschdienst (Austrian Academic Exchange Service), the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service), the Avenir Foundation (sponsors of the Arnold Schönberg Privatstiftung, Vienna), and the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Professor Heneghan has served the Society for Music Theory as reviews editor of Music Theory Spectrum and as member of the Executive Board (an elected position), Publications Committee, Committee for the Status of Women and, as student representative, the Professional Development Committee. Her editorial board appointments (past and present) include Music & Politics, Analytical Approaches to World Music, and Music Theory Spectrum. She chaired (with Julian Horton) the Dublin International Conference on Music Analysis, the first event of its kind to take place in Ireland, and has served on the program/scientific committees for Analytical Approaches to World Music, Music Theory Midwest (2019 chair), West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis, and Música Analítica. Currently she is a member of the organizing committee for the Analytical Approaches to World Music conference (Paris, 2020) and co-chair (with Laura Emmery) of the SMT’s Autographs and Archival Documents Interest Group.

Born in Mayo in the west of Ireland, Heneghan devoted many years to playing the Irish harp. She toured extensively with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, taught at numerous summer schools, and won the All-Ireland (Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann), Pan-Celtic International, and other major harp competitions.  Her new research project examines the corpus of Irish piping tunes collected by James Goodman in the mid-1800s. Combining manuscript study with digital melodic analysis, this work, funded by the Michigan Institute for Data Science, is part of a larger project with colleagues in music theory, statistics, and linguistics titled “A Computational Study of Patterned Melodic Structures across Musical Cultures.”


Bio last updated September 2019


Recent Publications

Schoenberg’s Sentence,” Music Theory Spectrum 40/2 (Fall 2018): 179–207.

“Schoenberg’s Fundamentals of Musical Composition: A Source Study,” Journal of the Arnold Schönberg Center 15 (2018): 163–189.

Eisler’s Klavierstücke für Kinder as Kompositionslehre: Composition, Analysis, Pedagogy,” Theory and Practice 43 (2018): 111–130.

“Rethinking Repetition: Interrogating Schoenberg’s Writings,” Perspectives of New Music 57/1-2 (Winter-Summer 2019).

Liquidation and Its Origins,” Journal of Music Theory 63/1 (Spring 2019): 71–102.

“The Theme of Webern’s Variationen für Klavier, Op. 27, Third Movement,” Music Theory & Analysis 6/1 (2019).

“Principles of Form.” In The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, edited by Leigh VanHandel. New York: Routledge, 2019.

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