I am an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at George Mason University, where I teach undergraduate core theory and graduate courses in advanced theory topics.

My research primarily deals with popular music, timbre, synthesizers, and recording techniques. My dissertation is titled “A New Approach to the Analysis of Timbre.” I proceed from a technical analysis of timbre via spectrograms and incorporate cultural and sociological research. You can read more about my research on my Research page and throughout my blog.

I am an active performer. I am a soprano in the St. Gregory Choir in McLean, Virginia. In New York, I sang in the Renaissance Street Singers chorus, which performs in New York City every other Sunday (all concerts are free and open to the public), as well as in a quartet at the Church of the Holy Innocents in midtown New York City. I am also a pianist. I am a freelance arranger; my work has been performed by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

I hold a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, M.M. from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, and B.M. from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.


Ph.D. in music theory, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY. Dissertation title: A New Approach to the Analysis of TimbreAdvisor: Prof. Mark Spicer. 2017.

M.M. in music theory, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 2012.

B.M. in music theory, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 2010.

Other Publications

———. 2019. “Bespoke Music Theory: A Modular Core Curriculum Designed for Audio Engineers, Classical Violinists, and Everyone in Between.” Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy 7. https://engagingstudentsmusic.org/article/view/7362.
———. 2020. “The Cultural Significance of Timbre Analysis: A Case Study in 1980s Pop Music, Texture, and Narrative.” Music Theory Online 26 (3). https://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.20.26.3/mto.20.26.3.lavengood.html.


Version 2 of Open Music Theory, currently in alpha or “soft open”. https://viva.pressbooks.pub/openmusictheory/

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“Using Open Educational Resources for Inclusive, Flexible, and Innovative 
Music Theory Pedagogy.” With Mark Gotham, Kyle Gullings, Chelsey Hamm, Bryn Hughes, Brian Jarvis, and John Peterson. Alternative-format special session presented at the Society for Music Theory 43rd Annual Meeting, 2020.

“Tracing Music Theory’s (un)Shifting Frames:  
A Natural Language Processing Approach.” Co-authored with Thomas Johnson and Evan Williams. Presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory, 2020.


Society of Music Theory
Music Theory Southeast

Megan Lavengood

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