Dr Keith Chapin
BA and MMus (Yale), PhD (Stanford)
I research on issues of aesthetics and analysis in eighteenth-through-twentieth century France and Germany, focusing on changing conceptions of sublimity and their different musical manifestations, the relationship between music and literature, and the aesthetics of counterpoint.
Through this work, I seek to articulate how musicians and listeners channel music towards various social ends. I also have a strong interest in performance studies, and perform on the viola. I have served as co-editor of Eighteenth-Century Music and associate editor of 19th-Century Music.
I am from Fairbanks, Alaska originally and have worked in the USA, New Zealand, and the UK.
Previous academic positions
- New Zealand School of Music (Wellington, 2008-2011)
- Fordham University (2002-2007)
- San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2001-2002)
My classes address the various ways that societies channel their musical activities according to various aesthetic, political, and other ideological systems. For example, one undergraduate class (Style Wars in Baroque Music) looks at two ideals of music (ethical and spectacular) and their influence on musical production and reception.
Postgraduate teaching examines fine points of ideological systems by looking at changes in key concepts (sublimity, classicism, etc.) and considering their musical manifestations.
In performance coaching, I seek to help students to realize musically the aesthetic sensibility behind different styles and genres.
I am currently working on a book on different conceptions of sublimity in the long eighteenth century and their musical manifestations. It recuperates the diversity of approaches to the concept, long obscured by the shadows of Burke and Kant, as well as the variety of ways that musicians sought to achieve transport.
Other research examines 17th-century French literary classicism’s transmission to and adaptation by 18th-century German musicians. I work on the aesthetics of music theoretical categories, such as counterpoint and melody.