Meet our PhD supervisors: Dr Keith Chapin
BA Yale, MMus Yale, PhD Stanford
(Thesis: ‘From Tone System to Personal Inspiration: The Metaphysics of Counterpoint in 18th and Early 19th-Century Germany’.)
- Eighteenth-Century Music
- History and Aesthetics of Counterpoint
- Music and Sublimity
- Classicism, Neo-Classicism, Neue Sachlichkeit in Music and Literature
- E. T. A. Hoffmann and German Romantic Aesthetics of Music
- Professional and Public Sphere in Music
- Cultural Transfer between France and Germany in the Long Eighteenth-Century
- Paul Hindemith and Neue Sachlichkeit
- Musicians‘ Appropriations of Literary and Philsophical Ideals
- The Cultures of Counterpoint in Eighteenth-Century Germany deals with the relationship between the aesthetics of counterpoint and the attempts of German learned musicians to reconceive their professional roles over the course of the eighteenth century.
- Types of Musical Sublimity in the Eighteenth-Century is an exploration of the different ideals of sublimity in circulation during the long eighteenth century and elaborates on their musical implications and manifestations.
- Speaking of Music – co-edited with Andrew Clark (Fordham University), this is an examination of the ways that scholars in different discipline speak about music.
- Counterpoint: From the Bees or for the Birds? Telemann and Early Eighteenth-Century Quarrels with Tradition (2011) – Although early eighteenth-century musicians often presented their relationship with tradition through a strict distinction between the old and the new, and proclaimed their partisanship for new French and Italian styles, many cultivated a productive assimilation of past musical styles. This paper (published in Music & Letters, vol. 92, no. 3) assesses the debts of Telemann and his contemporaries to the modes of thought laid out in the French Querelle des anciens et des moderns and echoing in Germany through the teachings of Christian Thomasius.
- Time and the Keyboard Fugue (2010) – Throughout the history of Western music, musicians have almost invariably discussed the keyboard fugue and other extreme forms of polyphony as signs of something that transcends human subjectivity. This paper (published in 19th-Century Music, vol. 34, no. 2) examines a shift in the way musicians approached this around the beginning of the nineteenth century, a shift that involved both a change in the technique of counterpoint and a change in the way counterpoint was interpreted.
- Musical Meaning and Human Values (2009) - Musical understanding has evolved dramatically in recent years, principally through a heightened appreciation of musical meaning in its social, cultural, and philosophical dimensions. This collection of essays by leading scholars, co-edited by Keith Chapin and Lawrence Kramer, addresses an aspect of meaning that has not yet received its due: the relation of meaning in this broad humanistic sense to the shaping of fundamental values.
- 18th to 20th-century French, German, and Austrian musical cultures (including cultural transfers between them)
- Historical music aesthetics (particularly when combined with music analysis and history)
- History of music theory and analysis
- Cross-currents between literature, philosophy, and music
- Critical theory
Originally from Alaska, Keith Chapin joined our academic staff in 2011, having previously taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Fordham University in New York City, and the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.
Keith has published widely on issues of aesthetics and the history of music theory between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, and has focused in particular on the aesthetics of counterpoint, the German musical appropriation of French literary classicism, and the music criticism of German Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann. He has served as Editor of Eighteenth-Century Music and as Associate Editor of 19th-Century Music.
Current book projects
Dr Chapin would be happy to consider applications from students considering postgraduate research in the following areas:
Interested in pursuing postgraduate research at one of the largest and most diverse music schools in the UK? The School of Music is currently offering three competitive Studentships that cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate. More information on our funding opportunities is available at: