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I am an Associate 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 methodology is presented in my Music Theory Online article “The Cultural Significance of Timbre Analysis: A Case Study in 1980s Pop Music, Texture, and Narrative.” I proceed from a technical analysis of timbre via spectrograms and incorporate cultural and sociological research. I also dabble in music and media (particularly video game music). You can read more about my research on my Research page and throughout my blog.

I am an active performer. I have just begun a position in the Schola Cantorum at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC. Prior, I was 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 originally from Cincinnati.


Ph.D. in music theory, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, 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


Gotham, Mark, Kyle Gullings, Chelsey Hamm, Bryn Hughes, Brian Jarvis, Megan Lavengood, and John Peterson. 2021. Open Music Theory. Version 2.

Open-access articles 

Lavengood, Megan, and Evan Williams. 2023. “The Common Cold: Using Computational Musicology to Define the Winter Topic in Video Game Music.” Music Theory Online 29 (1).

Lavengood, Megan L. 2021. “‘Oops!… I Did It Again’: The Complement Chorus in Britney Spears,  The Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC.” SMT-V 7 (6).

Lavengood, Megan L.  2020. “The Cultural Significance of Timbre Analysis: A Case Study in 1980s Pop Music, Texture, and Narrative.” Music Theory Online 26 (3).

Lavengood, Megan L. 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.

Lavengood, Megan L. 2018. “Review: Fink, Robert, Melinda Latour, and Zachary Wallmark (Eds). 2018. The Relentless Pursuit of Tone. New York: Oxford University Press.” Current Musicology 103: 121–30.

Blog Posts


    Society of Music Theory
    Music Theory Mid-Atlantic

    Megan Lavengood

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