John Knoedler



John Knoedler earned his MA and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, where his teachers and mentors included Walter Everett, Karen Fournier, Patricia Hall, Kevin Korsyn, Andrew Mead, Wayne C. Petty, Charles Reynolds, and Ramon Satyendra. His dissertation, A Practical Theory for Music Analysis: Principles, Categories, Extensions, explores his interest in and passion for music analysis, taking shape in three parts. The first part examines rhythmic reduction from a categorical perspective, considering its SPF value, in particular: how this type of analytical product Sounds like the piece, Preserves chosen essentials, and Fits a particular environment (anything from two staves to ten fingers to five buttons on a plastic guitar). The second part interrogates the CORE of music theory, its Context, Objects, Relationships, and Effects, with special attention given to how these elements interact with Schenkerian graphing. The third part considers a proposed set of categories for Schenkerian graphs, where tones may be seen as ranked, grouped, and spread across multiple layers of structure. This perspective of graphs is then extended to show how aspects of nontonal theories could be productively displayed using familiar Schenkerian notation. His emerging publications stem from and expand upon this material, as well as from his enthusiasm for music theory pedagogy. His invited review of The Norton Guide to Teaching Music Theory for the journal Intersections is forthcoming, along with several other projects.

Knoedler’s most recent conference activities were as a panel discussant for the Special Pedagogy Session at Music Theory Midwest, led by Jennifer Snodgrass, the national Vice President of the College Music Society, and as a presenter for the Special Pedagogy Session at the North American Conference on Video Game Music at Texas Christian University.

Knoedler has taught nearly every course in the music theory and aural skills disciplines, including graduate seminars in counterpoint, form and analysis, and music theory for music education majors.

He has served his profession, department, and community in numerous ways. Most recently, he received his second consecutive appointment as a judge for the Ribbons of Excellence program at Adrian College, a conference where students may present on any topic, based on one or more of five Ribbons of Excellence: Caring, Learning, Thinking critically, Crossing boundaries, and Developing creativity. Also, the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green elected him to a three-year term as the Adjunct Committee representative for the entire music department. Finally, he was the theory instructor of the University of Michigan’s Piano Pedagogy Laboratory Program, an outreach opportunity for pre-college students of various levels.

In his spare time, he acquired his 50-ton Captain’s License from the Coast Guard and enjoys boating on the Great Lakes.


MA (music theory), University of Michigan
PhD (music theory), University of Michigan