Nancy Murphy

Assistant Professor of Music


Nancy Murphy is a music theorist whose research examines singer-songwriter music, metric flexibility, self-expression, vocal production, music-text relations, and transcription. Murphy is the author of Times A-Changin’: Flexible Meter as Self-Expression in Singer Songwriter Music (Oxford University Press, 2023). Her recently published work in Music Theory Online (2023), Music Theory Spectrum (2022), and Music Analysis (2020) explores flexible meter, the popular singing voice, metric transcription, and techniques of self-expression in singer-songwriter music. Nancy has presented her research at national and international conferences including the Society for Music Theory annual conference, Music Theory Midwest, the South Central and Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory regional conferences, the Analytical Approaches to World Music conference, PopMAC: International Conference on Analyzing Popular Music, and the Joni Mitchell’s Blue at 50 Virtual Conference. She has been invited to share her work with students and colleagues at Northwestern University, Mount Alison University, Louisiana State University, and the Society for Music Analysis.

After receiving her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2016, Nancy was a lecturer in Music Theory and Aural Skills from 2015–2017 at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at the University of Houston as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory from 2017–2022. She completed her BMus and MA degrees in Music Theory at the University of Western Ontario.

Nancy is currently serving as reviews editor for Music Theory Online and on the editorial board for Indiana Theory Review. She is the 2024–2025 I Representative on the Music Theory Midwest executive board and was previously on the editorial boards for Music Theory Online and Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy. From 2015 to 2017, Nancy was the chair of the Society for Music Theory’s Popular Music Interest Group.

Nancy Murphy


BMus (Music Theory and Composition), University of Western Ontario
MA (Music Theory), University of Western Ontario
PhD (Music Theory), University of British Columbia

Updated on: 10/16/2023