music

Christopher Doll

Chancellor's Scholar and Associate Professor, Music Theory

Christopher Doll teaches undergraduate courses in theory, analysis, and composition, as well as first-year Byrne seminars and interdisciplinary honors seminars in popular music. His graduate seminars explore a range of theoretical and analytical topics, covering Bach, Chopin, Mozart, popular music, song since 1900, current issues in music theory, serialism, tonality since 1900, and twentieth-century theory. Prior to his arrival at Rutgers in 2007, Doll led courses at Columbia University, Stony Brook University, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory, and the Barnard College Pre-College.

As a scholar, Doll specializes in contemporary Western music, from popular music to film music to the avant-garde. He is the author of the theoretical treatise Hearing Harmony: Toward a Tonal Theory for the Rock Era (AMS 75 PAYS Endowment Subvention winner), which offers an original philosophical-psychological harmonic theory for Anglophone popular music from the 1950s to the present. His other recent work includes a video-article on the music of the film Inception, an article on Milton Babbitt’s pedagogical Play on Notes, and a talk in the AMS lecture series at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that explores the long-lasting influence of Latin-American vamps. Current projects include an empirical paper on pop-harmonic schemas, analytical papers on Radiohead and Bach, and a new monograph on musical similarity dealing with genre, style, the work-concept, covers, borrowing, and forensic musicology.

Doll earned his PhD (with distinction, 2007) from Columbia University, where he was a Teaching Fellow, a Dissertation Fellow, and a recipient of the William T. Golden’s honorary Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Endowment Fellowship. He also attended Stony Brook University (Graduate Council Fellowship, 2000-2002), the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (Master of Music, 2000) and Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Institute of Music (Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, 1998). Doll regularly serves as a peer-reviewer for academic presses and journals, and as a grader of the AP Music Theory Exam.

  • Expertise

    Composition/Theory