Geometries of Pitch in Music Theory and Change Ringing

  • Alison Stevens, Music Theory
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Monday, March 4, 8-9 pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
  • Humans generally understand musical pitch not through absolute sound frequencies but through cultural metaphors for pitch relationships. Alison Stevens will discuss two ways that music theorists have conceptualized relationships between pitch structures in spatial terms: the circle of fifths, a relatively old concept familiar to many modern music students, and the neo-Riemannian Tonnetz, which has only recently gained interest in the academic music theory community and helped spawn a new field of geometrical music theory. Alison will then show how similar spatial representations might be developed for pitch relationships in change ringing, an English tradition of ringing tuned bells in many different permutations.

    Alison Stevens is currently a first-year PhD student in music theory at the University of British Columbia. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from the University of North Carolina Greensboro and her master’s in music theory from UMass Amherst. Her interests include the role of movement experience in the comprehension of musical meter and spatial metaphors for both time and pitch in music. She is also an avid change ringer and enjoys spreading awareness of change ringing among music theorists and broader communities.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


March 4th, 2019 from  8:00 PM to  9:00 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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