Despite some claims to the contrary, classical music has a bright and vibrant future. And that future is enacted in the present—by the composers who craft new works, by the performers who play their music, and by the scholars who produce knowledge about the music. My paper focuses on the role of scholarly practices within this constellation of music-making in the present. In particular, I argue for the value of a robust analytical address of recent music as a means of enhancing perceptual understanding and promoting critical engagement with contemporary classical music. Analysis of recent works may, however, involve a rethinking of what constitutes musical structuring and how this structuring might be conceptualized and represented. To demonstrate these issues, I’ll consider two relatively recent works: Anna Clyne’s Choke (2004) for baritone saxophone and tape and Stacy Garrop’s Third String Quartet, Gaia (2008).


Judy Lochhead is a theorist and musicologist whose work focuses on the most recent musical practices in North America and Europe, with emphasis on music of the western classical tradition. Her work builds upon concepts and methodologies of phenomenology, cultural theory, and postmodern philosophy.

Lochhead has articles appearing in such journals as Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music Theory Online, Theory and Practice, In Theory Only, and in various edited collections. With Joseph Auner, Lochhead co-edited Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought (Routledge 2001). Recent books include: Reconceiving Structure in Contemporary Music: New Tools in Music Theory and Analysis (Routledge, 2015) and Music’s Immanent Future: Beyond Past and Present, co-edited with Sally Macarthur and Jennifer Shaw (Ashgate, 2016). Another book is forthcoming: Sound and Affect: Sound, Music, World, edited by Stephen Decatur Smith, Judy Lochhead, and Eduardo Mendieta (Forthcoming, University of Chicago Press 2018)


Lochhead teaches courses in music theory and music history at Stony Brook University.