Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis

OSiMTA Season 3 (2020-21) has now come to an end. You can read all the abstracts by clicking on the links to the left.

Plans are already underway for Season 4, which will have as its central theme ‘Rhythm, metre and temporality’. The full programme will be announced later in the summer. Please check back here at a later date for further details.

It is still unclear whether the seminar will be able to meet in person. We are planning for both hybrid sessions (with the event in the room streamed to YouTube, where viewers’ comments and questions will be fed back to the seminar) and online-only sessions. One of the upsides of this pandemic-led online life has been the great privilege of being able to engage with a much wider community of students and scholars. We wish to continue to give as wide access as possible to OSiMTA.


The Oxford Seminar in Music Theory & Analysis (OSiMTA) meets two or three times a term. Its convenors are Professor Jonathan Cross and Dr Sebastian Wedler.

Our conception of theory and analysis is critical, plural and interdisciplinary. In shaping the seminars, we aim to reflect the broad range of activity taking place under the heading of theory and analysis today, as well as to challenge boundaries, embracing not only ‘conventional’ practices, histories of theory and repertoires, but also new interdisciplinary approaches that engage with cultural studies, ethnomusicology, aesthetics and philosophy, psychology, politics, performance studies, popular music studies, and so on. Speakers include distinguished local, national and international scholars.

Most seminars are open to all, including the general public. Sessions will last 90 minutes and lively discussion is encouraged. They take place on Wednesday afternoons, beginning at 16.30 UK time (currently via Zoom).

Regular updates will appear on these pages. You can also follow OSiMTA on Twitter.


Season 3 (2020–21)

21 October 2020
Philip Ewell (Hunter College, New York)
How we got here, where to now?

18 November 2020
Barbara Bleij (Amsterdam Conservatorium)
‘Current trends in jazz theory and analysis: reading Wayne Shorter’

27 January 2021
J.P.E. Harper-Scott (Royal Holloway, University of London)
‘Tonality and the capitalist mode of exploitation’

24 February 2021
Catherine A. Bradley (University of Oslo)
‘Fragments from a medieval motet manuscript in Stockholm: perspectives for theory and analysis’

5 May 2021
Nicola Dibben (University of Sheffield)
‘Analysing musical new multimedia: music in mobile apps and extended reality’

19 May 2021
David Bretherton (University of Southampton)
‘Queering and cripping Schubert’s Atlas’