Dr. Michael Cherlin

School of Music

University of Minnesota


Modeling Space and Time in Contemporary Music Theory



The nature of time and space as expressed through music has become one of the central concerns of contemporary music theory and music composition. We will survey the theoretical field, sampling some of the most interesting work in this area. Topics will include imagining music as extended space versus experience over time, various models for modular time and space, the development of transformational networks in recent music theory, and the expression of temporal orientation in music – anticipation, retrospection, and a sense of ‘now-time’ – and its implications of non-Euclidian time/space. The presentation will include graphic examples as well as audio excerpts from musical works.