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John Synder

Professor of Composition

Division Head of Composition

Director, AURA Contemporary Ensemble

John L. Snyder (Music Theory) received a Ph.D. in music theory from Indiana University in 1982; M.M. from Michigan State University, 1974; B.M., with High Honor, from Michigan State University, 1972. Prior to coming to the University of Houston, he served on the faculties at Oklahoma State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Nicholls State University. His research has produced the following books and critical editions: The Musica of Hermannus Contractus, Edited and Translated by Leonard Ellinwood, Revised with a New Introduction by John L. Snyder (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2015); Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Symphony in A Minor, Opus 8, with the Earlier Finales and the Idyll, op. 44 (Middleton: A-R Editions, 2013); Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Symphonic Variations on an African Air, Opus 63 (Middleton: A-R Editions, 2007); Theinred of Dover's De legitimis pentachordorum et tetrachordorum, A Critical Text and Translation, with an introduction, annotations, and indices (Ottawa: Institute of Mediæval Music, 2006). He has published articles in musical analysis and in the history of music theory, including "Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Symphonic Variations on an African Air, op. 63: Form, Techniques, Topics." (Indiana Theory Review 33 [2017], a special Festschrift issue honoring Mary Wennerstorm); "Pitch and Pitch Relationships in Musicæ artis disciplina: Letter Notation, Species, and Contour Theory" (Theoria 17 [2010]); "Reason and Original Thinking in English Intellectual Circles: Aristotle, Adelard and Auctoritas in Theinred of Dover's Musical Theory of Species," in Teaching and Learning in Northern Europe 1000-1200 (ed. Sally Vaughn and Jay Rubenstein; Brepols, 2006); entries on Theinred of Dover in The Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001); New Grove Online; The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004); "Schenker and the First Movement of Mozart's Sonata, K. 545: An Uninterrupted Sonata Form Movement?" (Theory and Practice 16 [1991]); "Entropy as a Measure of Musical Style: The Influence of a priori Assumptions" (Music Theory Spectrum 12/1 [1990]); "A Road Not Taken: Theinred of Dover's Theory of Species" (Journal of the Royal Musical Association 115/2 [1990]); "Theinred of Dover on Consonance: A Chapter in the History of Harmony" (Music Theory Spectrum 5 [1983]). He has presented papers at regional, national, and international conferences and symposia, and has published reviews of books on medieval music theory and symphonic literature.