Music Theory Midwest 2013 Conference Information

Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, 26-27 April 2013


General Information

We extend our warmest invitation to attend Music Theory Midwest’s twenty-fourth annual conference, to be held April 26–27, 2013 at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The program is now posted on the website. Thanks go to David Clampitt (Ohio State University), who chaired the program committee, and to its other members: Stefanie Dickinson (University of Central Arkansas); William Guerin (Indiana University); David Heetderks (Oberlin College-Conservatory of Music); Catherine Losada (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music); Samuel Ng (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music); and Scott Murphy (University of Kansas), ex officio as MTMW President.

Sarah Ellis and Frank Riddick (University of Oklahoma), our co-chairs of local arrangements for this conference, are delighted to welcome everyone to Norman. Our sessions will be held in the Catlett Music Center at the University of Oklahoma.

Keynote Abstract

Kevin Korsyn (University of Michigan) is delivering this year’s keynote address, which is entitled "Composition as Commentary:  Completing the Unfinished Fugue in Die Kunst der Fuge by J. S. Bach."

The enormous unfinished fugue published by Bach’s executors as part of his Art of Fugue has long been a source of fascination and controversy.   Although recent research by Christoph Wolff and others has clarified some issues, scholars continue to raise questions about this piece, wondering whether it was to have been a quadruple fugue or merely a triple fugue, and even questioning whether Bach intended it belong to the Art of Fugue at all.   Without being able to resolve all these questions definitively, I believe we can shed new light on them by immersing ourselves in Bach’s craft and trying to complete the piece, considering various scenarios of what might happen next and deciding which options are most probable.

My intention is to write a scholarly commentary on Bach, but in the form of music rather than a verbal text.   Bach’s Art of Fugue is a work of the most profound erudition and scholarship, but does so through music rather than words, unless one counts the titles of the pieces.  So my form of commentary seems both unorthodox and entirely appropriate.  Although my presentation includes a verbal component, the deepest insights are conveyed directly through music, and resist being formulated in words or reduced to a set of propositions.

My project also has implications for understanding Bach’s compositional process, and especially for rethinking the boundaries between compositional technique and emotional authenticity, or between pre-compositional planning and the creative act by showing that the search for abstract contrapuntal permutations cannot be wholly separated from the exploration of human emotion.  Many works of musical scholarship give the impression of being outside the music looking in; by engaging the art and craft of counterpoint here, we may be able to challenge and blur some of the boundaries between musical practice and the academic disciplines that study it.


To Elm Avenue Parking/Catlett Music Center from La Quinta:

Out of the La Quinta parking lot, turn right (South) onto Ed Noble Parkway.

Turn left (East) on Lindsey Street.

Turn left (North) onto Elm Avenue

Elm Avenue Parking Garage and the Catlett Music Center will be on your left (near the corner of Elm and W. Boyd).

Do not park on the lowest level (which includes both the ground level and the first ramp)!

If you are driving directly to the conference from out of town, follow the directions above from Lindsey Street. Lindsey Street is on the South side of town, Exit 108B (off I-35).

Conference Events

The Chiara String Quartet ( will be performing an all-Beethoven concert on Friday, April 26 at 8:00pm in the Catlett Music Building.  The program will include Op. 18, no. 1, Op. 95, and Op. 130 (with the Grosse Fuge).  Tickets are $9 and can be purchased from the box office either by phone (405 325-4101) or the day of the concert.

In addition, we encourage you to visit the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (located directly across the street from the Catlett Music Building), which now offers free admission.  Strengths of the nearly 16,000-object permanent collection are the Weitzenhoffer Collection of French Impressionism, 20th century American painting and sculpture, traditional and contemporary Native American art, art of the Southwest, ceramics, photography, contemporary art, Asian art and graphics from the 16th century to the present.  For more information see

On Saturday evening the conference will conclude with our traditional banquet in the form of a BBQ buffet dinner held at the Oklahoma Memorial Union.  Cost for the banquet is $22 (discounted to $17 for our student members).  A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available.



The University of Oklahoma campus is served by the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.  General information regarding flying into and out of the airport is available at

Transportation to and from the airport


Airport Express/ Metro Express operates vans to and from the airport.  From the airport, these shuttles can be taken without reservations with a purported eight-minute maximum wait time.  The drivers can accept cash and credit cards.  Service is also available to the airport with a reservation 24 hours in advance.  The cost for a one-way trip between Will Rogers and the University of Oklahoma is $38.  Excessive luggage and extra stops cost extra.

Please call Airport Express at (405) 681-3311 or for more information or to make reservations.


Checker Cab/Yellow Cab service is available both to and from the Airport.  Average cost from the Airport to the University is $45.  Please call Checker Cab/Yellow Cab at (405) 236-5551 for more information.

A-1 Taxi service is available to and from the Airport.  Average cost from the Airport to the University is $55. Please call A-1 Taxi at (405) 321-3111 for more information.

Rental Cars:

Many companies (including Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and others) have rental cars available at Will Rogers World Airport.  Please go to for a list of companies operating out of the Airport and for links and phone numbers to make reservations, get price quotes, or for more information.


Attendees in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can also take the Heartland Flyer from Fort Worth, TX to Norman. Cost is $25 one way.  Train 822 runs daily, departing from Fort Worth at 5:25PM and arriving in Norman at 9:04PM.  Train 821 runs daily, departing from Norman at 8:49AM and arriving in Forth Worth at 12:39PM.  Keep in mind that transportation will be required from the train station in Norman to the University or conference hotel.  If you do choose to take the train, we will try our best to provide transportation to and from the station.  Please go to or (1-800-872-7245) for more information or to make a reservation.


Parking will be available in the Elm Avenue Parking Garage, the garage directly South of Catlett Music Center. If you need a parking pass, please email Frank Riddick ( no later than Monday, April 22. We will have a parking permit for you at registration. When you first arrive at the conference, park in the garage and come into the building to register. You will then need to go back to your car and place your permit in your front window. Do not park on the lowest level, which includes both the ground level and the first ramp!

This is a student/staff parking garage, but a parking spot is not guaranteed just because you have a permit. We advise you show up no later than 8:15 to get a spot.


We have reserved a group of rooms at La Quinta Inn and Suites in Norman.  The group rate for a double room is $80.75 (mention Music Theory Midwest conference to receive group rate).  You must reserve your room by April 4, 2013 to receive the discount rate.  The hotel has a free continental breakfast and free wireless internet access.  Multiple restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.


La Quinta Inn and Suites

930 Ed Noble Parkway

Norman, OK 73072

(405) 579-4000


We will be providing shuttle vans between the hotel and the conference site for the pre-conference workshop and during the conference in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening.  Please note that vans to and from the University of Oklahoma will depart from La Quinta Inn only (transportation to or from other hotels will not be provided).

Local Information

Local Arrangements: Sarah Ellis (University of Oklahoma) and Frank Riddick (University of Oklahoma)

Program Committee

David Clampitt (The Ohio State University), Chair

Stefanie Dickinson (University of Central Arkansas)
William Guerin (Indiana University)
David Heetderks (Oberlin College)
Catherine Losada (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music)
Samuel Ng (Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music)
Scott Murphy (University of Kansas) ex-officio as MTMW President

Pre-Conference Workshop

The evening before the conference begins, we will also host MTMW’s third annual Pre-Conference Workshop, titled “Music Theory Pedagogy and the Academic Job Interview” and led by Gary Karpinski (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) and Rachel Lumsden (University of Oklahoma). We’re pleased to announce that this workshop is full to capacity with participating students and faculty.

Komar Award Committee

Kevin Holm-Hudson (University of Kentucky), Chair

Stefanie Dickinson (University of Central Arkansas)
Alan Street (University of Kansas)

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