LZ in Chicago September 2018

Lawrence Zbikowski

I am the Addie Clark Harding Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago and the chair of the Department of Music. My principal research interests involve applying recent work in cognitive science (especially that done by cognitive linguists and cognitive psychologists) to various problems confronted by music scholars, with a particular focus on music theory and analysis. Much of my recent work has been drawn together in my 2017 book Foundations of Musical Grammar (OUP), but I have also been exploring the application of theories about cognitive extension to music along with topics related to music and memory, and music and agency.

Autumn 2023
MUSI 43721: Music and Sociality

Winter 2024
MUSI 20719/SIGN 26066: Music and Mind

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Foundations of Musical Grammar, Oxford Studies in Music Theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

from the jacket copy for the book
How is it that humans are able to organize seemingly random sounds into the captivating sonic structures we call music? In this volume Lawrence M. Zbikowski argues that humans’ unique ability to correlate sounds with dynamic processes provides the basis for the construction of meaningful musical utterances—that is, a foundation for musical grammar. Building on a framework for grammar developed by cognitive linguists over the past three decades and the pathbreaking research set out in his earlier Conceptualizing Music (OUP 2002), Zbikowski explains how the ability to draw analogies between widely differing domains allows humans to connect sequences of musical sounds with emotion processes, physical gestures, and the steps of dance. He shows how these connections underpin an evocative movement from a cantata by J. S. Bach, guide our understanding of gestural choreographies by Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin, and frame connections between movement and music in French courtly dance and the Viennese waltz. Through thorough surveys of research in cognitive science and careful analyses of works by composers ranging from Bach, Brahms, and Schubert to Jerome Kern, Zbikowski explores the unique resources for communication offered by music and examines how these differ from those of language.

Conceptualizing Music: Cognitive Structure, Theory, and Analysis, AMS Studies in Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). Conceptualizing Music was winner of the Society for Music Theory’s 2004 Wallace Berry Award.

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Articles, article-reviews, and responses.

“Performing Agency: A Response,” Music Theory Online 24/3 (September 2018): http://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.18.24.3/mto.18.24.3.zbikowski.html

“Conceptual Blending, Creativity, and Music,” Musiae Scientiae 22/1 (March 2018): 6-23. This article is part of a special issue on creative conceptual blending in music; guest editors Emilios Cambouropoulos, Danae Stefanou, and Costas Tsougras. (pdf)

Review of Elizabeth Margulis’s On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind, Music Theory Spectrum 39/1 (Spring 2017): 124-130. (pdf)

“Reflections on Words and Music,” Dansk Musikforskning Online/Saernummer 2016, Danish Musicology Online/Special Edition 2016, Word And Music Studies—New Paths, New Methods, 5-13 (www.danishmusicologyonline.dk). (pdf)

Review of Schubert (Re)Inventions (a recording by Ensemble Palladino), Nineteenth-Century Music Review 14:2 (August 2017), 271-274. [Published online 29 November 2016: https//doi.org/10.1017/S1479409816000525] (pdf)

“Remembering Music,” Dutch Journal of Music Theory 17: 3 (2012): 137-154. (pdf)

“Music, Dance, and Meaning in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Musicological Research 31:2-3 (2012): 147-165. (pdf)

“Music, Language, and What Falls in Between,” Ethnomusicology 56/1 (Winter 2012): 125-131. This brief essay is a response to Francesca R. Sborgi Lawson’s "Consilience Revisited: Musical and Scientific Responses to Chinese Performance,” published in the same issue. (pdf)

“Music Theory, Music History, and Quicksand,” Music Theory Spectrum 33/2 (Fall 2011): 226-228. This brief essay is a response to Richard Taruskin’s “Catching up with Rimsky-Korsakov,” published in the same issue. (pdf)

“Music, Emotion, Analysis,” Music Analysis 29/i-ii-iii (2011): 37-60. (pdf)

“An Introduction to voiceXchange,” voiceXchange 3/1 (Spring 2009): 1-2. (pdf)

“Ole Kuehl’s Musical Semantics: Cognitive Musicology and the Challenge of Musical Meaning,” Musicae Scientiae 13/2 (Fall 2009): 441-473. (pdf)

“Musicology, Cognitive Science, and Metaphor: Reflections on Michael Spitzer’s Metaphor and Musical Thought,” Musica Humana 1/1 (2009): 81-104. (pdf)

“Aspects of Meaning Construction in Music: Toward a Grammar of Music,” prepared for Almen Semiotik 17 but journal ceased publication. (pdf)

“Music Theory, Multimedia, and the Construction of Meaning” (invited review of Nicholas Cook’s Analysing Musical Multimedia), Intégral 16/17 (2002/2003) [published summer 2005]: 251-268. (pdf)

“Modelling the Groove: Conceptual Structure and Popular Music,” the Journal of the Royal Musical Association 129/2 (December 2004): 272-297. (pdf) Reprinted in Pop Music and Easy Listening, ed. Stan Hawkins (Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2011): 241-266.

Review of Taylor Aitken Greer, A Question of Balance: Charles Seeger’s Philosophy of Music, Music Theory Spectrum 26/2 (Fall 2004): 305-313. (pdf)

Des Herzraums Abschied: Mark Johnson’s Theory of Embodied Knowledge and Music Theory,” Theory and Practice 22-23 (1997-98; published Autumn 2000): 1-16. (pdf)

“The Blossoms of ‘Trockne Blumen’: Music and Text in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Music Analysis 18/3 (October 1999): 307-345. (pdf)

“Musical Coherence, Motive, and Categorization,” Music Perception 17/1 (Fall 1999): 5-42. (pdf)

“Metaphor and Music Theory: Reflections from Cognitive Science,” Music Theory Online 4/1 (January 1998) http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.98.4.1/mto.98.4.1.zbikowski.html.

“Conceptual Models and Cross-Domain Mapping: New Perspectives on Theories of Music and Hierarchy,” the Journal of Music Theory 41/2 (Fall 1997): 193-225. (pdf)

“Musical Concepts and Categories,” Music Theory Online 1/4 (July 1995) http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.95.1.4/mto.95.1.4.zbikowski.html.

“Cooperative Learning in the Music Theory Classroom,” with Dr. Charles K. Long; the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 8 (1994): 135-157. (pdf)

Review-article on Eugene Narmour’s The Analysis and Cognition of Basic Melodic Structures for the Journal of Music Theory 37/1 (Spring 1993): 177-206. (pdf)

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Chapters in edited books.

“Design Principles for the Musical Heroic,” in The Heroic in Music, edited by Beate Kutschke and Katherine Butler (Boydell Press, 2022): 91-109.

“Music, Metaphor, and Creativity,” in Performing Metaphoric Creativity across Modes and Contexts, edited by Laura Hidalgo-Downing and Blanca Kraljevic Mujic (John Benjamins, 2020): 43-69.

“Cognitive Extension and Musical Consciousness,” in Music and Consciousness 2: Worlds, Practices, Modalities, edited by Ruth Herbert, David Clarke, and Eric Clarke (Oxford University Press, 2019): 34-54. (pdf)

“Ways of Knowing: Social Dance, Music, and Grounded Cognition,” in Music-Dance: Sound and Motion in Contemporary Discourse, edited by Patrizia Veroli and Gianfranco Vinay (Routledge Press, 2018): 55-75. (pdf)

“Music, Analogy, and Metaphor,” in The Routledge Companion to Music Cognition, edited by Richard Ashley and Renee Timmers (Routledge Press, 2017): 501-512. (pdf)

“Musical Time, Embodied and Reflected,” in Music in Time: Phenomenology, Perception, Performance, edited by Suzannah Clark and Alexander Rehding (Harvard University Press, 2016): 33-54. (pdf)

“Musical Semiotics and Analogical Reference,” in Music, Analysis, Experience: New Perspectives in Musical Semiotics, edited by Constantino Maeder and Mark Reybrouck (University of Leuven Press, 2015): 167-184.

“Words, Music, and Meaning,” in Sémiotic de la musique / Music and Meaning, ed. Per Aage Brandt and José Roberto do Carmo, Jr., Signata: Annales des sémiotiques = Annals of Semiotics 6 (Liège: Presses universitaires de Liège-Sciences humaines, 2015): 143-164. (pdf)

“Dance Topics I: Music and Dance in the Ancien Régime,” in The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory, ed. Danuta Mirka (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014): 143-163. (pdf)

“Listening to Music,” in Speaking of Music: Addressing the Sonorous, ed. Keith Chapin and Andrew H. Clark (Fordham University Press, 2013): 101-119. (pdf)

“Music and Movement: A View from Cognitive Musicology,” in Bewegungen zwischen Hören und Sehen: Denkbewegungen über Bewegungskünste, edited by Stephanie Schroedter (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2012): 151-162. (pdf)

“Music, Language, and Kinds of Consciousness,” in Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, Psychological, and Cultural Perspectives, edited by Eric Clarke and David Clarke (Oxford University Press, 2011): 179-192. (pdf)

“Musical Gesture and Musical Grammar: A Cognitive Approach,” in New Perspectives on Music and Gesture, ed. Anthony Gritten and Elaine King (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2011): 83-98. (pdf).

“Music, Language, and Multimodal Metaphor,” in Multimodal Metaphor, eds. Charles Forceville and Eduardo Urios-Aparisi. (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009): 359-381. (pdf)

“Dance Topoi, Sonic Analogues, and Musical Grammar: Communicating with Music in the Eighteenth Century,” in Communication in Eighteenth Century Music, ed. Danuta Mirka and Kofi Agawu (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008): 283-309. (pdf)

“Cognitive Science, Music Theory, and Music Analysis,” in Musiktheorie im Kontext: V. Kongress der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie Hamburg 2005, ed. Jan Philipp Sprick, Reinhard Bahr, and Michael von Troschke (Berlin: Weidler Buchverlag, 2008): 447-463. (pdf)

“Metaphor and Music,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, ed. Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008): 502-524. (pdf)

“The Cognitive Tango: Music, Mind and Brain,” in The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity, ed. Mark Turner (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). (pdf)

“Seeger’s Unitary Field Theory Reconsidered,” in Understanding Charles Seeger, Pioneer in American Musicology, edited by Bell Yung and Helen Rees (University of Illinois Press, 1999), 130-149. (pdf)

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LZ with Gibson L6S in Fulton Hall

A while back the news office of the University of Chicago featured my work in a feature that includes a brief video clip.

The photograph at the right is by Dan Dry, and was used in the feature. It was taken in Fulton Hall, the recital hall for the Department Music. The guitar here is a 1975 Gibson L6S.

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LZ with guitar at the NHCI have a range of experience as a practical musician. In recent solo concerts I have performed works by Augustin Barrios, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Maxwell Davies, John Dowland, John Duarte, Manual M. Ponce, Giulio Regondi, Joaquin Rodrigo, Franz Schubert, Vicente Sojo, Domenico Scarlatti, Fernando Sor, Toru Takemitsu, and Heitor Villa-Lobos.

On occasion, I also provide auditory illustrations for my lectures, most recently with works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Hans Werner Henze, Toru Takemitsu, Julio Sagreras, Antonio Lauro, and Mauro Giuliani. The classical guitar I’m shown with here was built in 1983 by Steve Kakos.

Although most of my energies are directed toward classical guitar, in years past I explored somewhat lighter fare as a member of the South Side Swedes, led by the late John Berquist.

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Department of Music
Goodspeed Hall 313
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-8500
e-mail: larry[AT]uchicago[DOT]edu