This site is offered to share my music theory research.

Current Projects:

Musical Motives: A Theory and Method for Analyzing Shape in Music (Oxford University Press, 2021). Click here to access recordings for the examples and for further information about the book (announcements, further readings, errata, etc.)

Brent Auerbach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Project. Click here to follow my progress in recording this monumental work (and to learn more about each of the 96 pieces that comprise it!).

Older Projects (under construction)

“Tiered Polyphony and Its Determinative Role in the Piano Music of Johannes Brahms.” Journal of Music Theory 52/2: 273-320.

“Tchaikovsky’s Triumphant Repetitions: Block Composition as a Key to Dynamic Form in the Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3.” Theory and Practice 37/38: 63-109.


Brent Auerbach is Associate Professor of Music Theory at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on formalizing the concept of the musical motive and extending its applications for analysis. Other research interests include the group-mathematic properties of harmonic sequences, theory pedagogy, and the aesthetics of Baroque composition and counterpoint. Dr. Auerbach has published articles in The Journal of Music Theory, Music Theory OnlineTheory and PracticeIntégral, and in The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy, ed. By Leigh VanHandel (2020). He has given papers at annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the New England Conference of Music Theorists, the Music Theory Society of New York State, the West Coast Conference of Music Theorists, and the Texas Society for Music Theory. He is presently serving as an Associate Editor for the journal, Music Theory Online.

When he is not at working on research or preparing for class, Dr. Auerbach can be found playing Bach at the piano, hanging at home with his family, on his bicycle tooling about Western Massachusetts, and planning upcoming vacations to the Cape and Disney.

contact: auerbach@music.umass.edu

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