Derek R. Strykowski holds a Ph.D. in historical musicology from Brandeis University, where he was a Mildred and Herbert Lee fellow, and is presently a clinical assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.

As a scholar of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Strykowski investigates the history of composition from a range of social-scientific perspectives 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.


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)

Other Publications

Strykowski, Derek R. “The Negotiation of Nineteenth-Century Style: A Case Study in Composer–Publisher Relations.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 49, no. 2 (January 2019) [backdated to 2018): pp. 217–242.

Strykowski, Derek R. “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): pp. 574–602. https://doi.org/10.1353/not.2018.0034

Strykowski, Derek R. “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

Strykowski, Derek R. “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

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    “Sounding the Interrogative: Cadential Attenuation as Syntactic Device in the Madrigals of Sigismondo d’India.” Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society. Boston: November 2019.

    “Hearing the Interrogative in the Polyphonic Madrigals of Sigismondo d’India: A Quantitative Analysis.” Third Annual Conference on the Italian Madrigal. Hamilton, NY: Colgate University, September 2018.

    “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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