Alexander Rehding

Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, Harvard Universityalex

Rehding spent many years at the other Cambridge (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD) before joining Harvard in 2003. As a music theorist, Rehding is interested in the question of how music has been understood at different times in history. This has taken his work in a number of different directions from Ancient Greek music to the Eurovision Song Contest. He is interested in the history of music theory, paleo- and neo Riemannian theory, music-aesthetic questions, and issues of sound and media. The wider questions of how ancient music was imagined by theorists and how non-western music was transmitted to Europe led Rehding to an engagement with musical media, including notation but also recording technology. Articles in the field of media aesthetics and music include studies on Edison¹s phonograph, the gramophone, the radio, as well as work on sirens. At present Rehding is interested in how music theory has engaged the question of sound. Rehding has been awarded numerous awards and fellowships, including The Dent Medal, Guggenheim, ACLS, Mellon, Humboldt, and Channing. He was the convener of “Hearing Modernity,”  the 2013/14 John E. Sawyer Seminar in the Comparative Study of Culture.

Selected Publications

    • Notes on Sound: Nineteenth-Century Music between Acoustics and Aesthetics.[in progress]
    • “Acoustics” entry. Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. 2014
    • Music and Monumentality. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
    • co-editor, with Suzannah Clark, Music Theory and Natural Order. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Paperback, 2005.