Derek R. Strykowski holds a Ph.D. in historical musicology from Brandeis University, and is presently a clinical assistant professor of music history at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. As a scholar, Strykowski asks whether the historical study of music composition may benefit the work of contemporary composers in the same way that the study of music itself already benefits contemporary listeners and performers. His research thus investigates the history of composition from a social-scientific perspective in order to advance our theoretical knowledge of the relationship between compositional circumstance and the development of musical style. For example, his recent article in the Journal of Musicological Research (2016) illuminates not only the artistic origins of Alban Berg’s late operatic style but also the behavioral principles that its development represents. Currently in preparation are a pair of research articles, one of which is forthcoming from Notes (2018), that explore how the business of music publishing influenced the development of nineteenth-century style. He also maintains a second program of research involving the formal empirical analysis of sixteenth-century polyphony. Having performed a quantitative corpus study of the four- and five-voice madrigals of the Italian composer Luca Marenzio, Strykowski recently published “Text Painting, or Coincidence? Treatment of Height-Related Imagery in the Madrigals of Luca Marenzio” in the Empirical Musicology Review (2017). This same methodological approach—sometimes associated with the digital humanities—has also begun to inform his primary line of research as a means to gauge the long-term historical development of a musical style. Much of the research described above demonstrates Strykowski’s desire to strengthen our present musical culture; his work in the classroom is a natural extension of this commitment. He has recently developed a number of undergraduate seminars on topics that range from the history of the Mass to the economics of creativity.


Ph.D. Historical Musicology, Brandeis University (2016) M.F.A. Historical Musicology, Brandeis University (2014) B.A. Summa cum laude, Music with High Honors, Brandeis University (2010) Diploma, Phillips Academy, Andover (2006)


“The Business of Composition: Measuring Economic Relationships at Breitkopf & Härtel, 1798–1838.” Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, vol. 74, no. 4 (June 2018): forthcoming. “Text Painting, or Coincidence? Treatment of Height-Related Imagery in the Madrigals of Luca Marenzio.” Empirical Musicology Review, vol. 11, no. 2 (January 2017) [backdated to 2016]: pp. 109–119. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v11i2.4903 “The Diegetic Music of Berg’s Lulu: When Opera and Serialism Collide.” Journal of Musicological Research, vol. 35, no. 1 (January 2016): pp. 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/01411896.2015.1082066

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“Three Principles of Economics at Work in the Nineteenth-Century Music Shop.” Musicology Lecture Series. Amherst, NY: University at Buffalo, March 2017. “Translation Across Time: A Case of Semantic Drift in the Musical Lexicon.” Enter Textuality: Shifting Perspectives through Editorial Studies. Boston: Editorial Institute at Boston University, April 2016. “Symphonies for Sale: How Composers and Publishers Negotiated the Style of Concert Music in the Long Nineteenth Century.” New England chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society. Amherst, MA: Amherst College, October 2015


American Historical Association American Musicological Society (NYSSL Chapter) American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Derek R. Strykowski

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