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Christoph Neidhöfer

Academic Title(s): 

Chair, Department of Music Research, Associate Professor

Music Research
Music Composition
Music Theory
Contact Information
Email Address: 
christoph [dot] neidhofer [at] mcgill [dot] ca
academic affairs

Christoph Neidhöfer (Ph.D., Music Theory, Harvard University, 1999; diplomas in Music Theory/Composition and Piano, Musikhochschule Basel, 1991 and 1989) is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music Research at McGill University, Schulich School of Music, where he has been teaching since 1999. His research, which has been supported by grants from the Paul Sacher Foundation Basel and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada as well as a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, focuses on 20th/21st-century music, post-tonal theory, sketch studies, aesthetics of serialism, and eighteenth-century counterpoint. He has twice been a Fellow of the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory (Transformational Theory, 2003; Schoenberg, 2007). In 2000 he served on the composition faculty and in 2012 on the theory faculty at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music, where he co-taught the colloquium “Aesthetics, Analysis & Theory” with Ulrich Mosch and Yuval Shaked. As a composer, Neidhöfer won first prize at the Besançon Orchestral Composition Competition, France (1994), and the Akiyoshidai Composition Award, Japan (1997), and as a duo pianist with Anton Vishio the Kranichstein Music Prize Darmstadt (1994). Christoph Neidhöfer currently serves on the editorial board of Intégral and is book reviews editor for the journal of the Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum. At McGill, he teaches courses in 20th/21st-century theory and analysis, mathematical models for musical analysis, nineteenth-century analysis, Baroque counterpoint, composition, as well as graduate seminars in music theory.

Graduate seminars taught:

"The Late Music of Igor Stravinsky," "Symphonies after Beethoven," "The Music of Olivier Messiaen," "The Poetics of Italian Serialism 1935-1960," "Compositional Process in Selected Twentieth-Century Chamber Music," "Paths to Twelve-Tone Composition," "Darmstadt und der italienische Serialismus: Luciano Berio, Bruno Maderna, Luigi Nono" (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, 2009), "Integral Serialism: Aesthetics and Techniques," “Chance and Indeterminacy in Music,” “The Music of Anton Webern in Context,” “Expression and Meaning in the Music of the Darmstadt Avant-garde 1946-1965.”


Selected Publications: 

Forthcoming publications
“Messiaen’s Counterpoint,” in Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence and Reception, edited by Christopher Dingle and Robert Fallon (Farnham: Ashgate).

Journal articles
“Inside Luciano Berio’s Serialism,” Music Analysis 28:2-3 (2009 [2011]), 301-48.

 “Energetik und Form: Analytische Reflexionen über Rudolf Kelterborns Four Pieces for Four Players (2005)” [Analyzing Energetics and Form: Reflections on Four Pieces for Four Players (2005) by Rudolf Kelterborn], Dissonance 115 (2011), 18-31.

"Atonalität und transformational analysis: Zu einigen verborgenen (und nicht so verborgenen) Strukturen in Schönberg’s Klavierstück op. 11, 3" [Atonality and Transformational Analysis: On Some Hidden (and Not So Hidden) Structures in Schoenberg’s Klavierstück op. 11, 3], Jahrbuch des Staatlichen Instituts für Musikforschung 2008/2009 (Berlin), 53-73.

"Bruno Maderna’s Serial Arrays," Music Theory Online 13:1 (2007).

"’Blues’ through the Serial Lens: Transformational Process in a Fragment by Bruno Maderna," Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung 18 (2005), 14-20.

"A Theory of Harmony and Voice Leading for the Music of Olivier Messiaen," Music Theory Spectrum 27:1 (2005), 1-34.

"Bruno Madernas flexibler Materialbegriff – eine Analyse des Divertimento in due tempi (1953)" [Bruno Maderna’s Flexible Notion of the Material – An Analysis of the Divertimento in due tempi (1953)], Musik & Ästhetik 9:33 (2005), 30-47.

"Musiktheorie als exakte Wissenschaft: Milton Babbitts Modell einer ‘scientific method’ zur Formulierung musikalischer Konzepte" [Music Theory as Exact Science: Milton Babbitt’s Model of a ‘Scientific Method" for the Formulation of Musical Concepts], Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 2:2 (2005), 11-19.

"Set Theory," Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 2:2 (2005), 219-27.

"Twelve-Tone Theory," Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 2:2 (2005), 207-17.

"A Case of Cross-Fertilization: Serial and Non-Serial Counterpoint in Stravinsky’s Cantata (1951-52)," Tijdschrift voor Muziektheorie 9:2 (May 2004), 87-104.

Peter Schubert and Christoph Neidhöfer, Baroque Counterpoint (Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 2006).

Articles/chapters in books and monographs
“Berio at Work: Compositional Procedures in Circles, O King, Concerto for Two Pianos, Glossa, and Notturno,” in Luciano Berio: Nuove Prospettive / New Perspectives, edited by Angela Ida De Benedictis (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2012), 195-233.

"Vers un principe commun: Intégration de la hauteur et du rythme dans le Quartetto per archi in due tempi (1955)" [Toward One Common Principle: Integration of Pitch and Rhythm in the Quartetto per archi in due tempi (1955)], in À Bruno Maderna, vol. 2, edited by Geneviève Mathon, Laurent Feneyrou, and Giordano Ferrari (Paris: Basalte, 2009), 323-58.

“Analyse und kompositorische Praxis: einige Betrachtungen” [Analysis and Compositional Practice: Some Considerations], in Musiktheorie an ihren Grenzen: Neue und Alte Musik, edited by Angelika Moths, Markus Jans, John MacKeown, and Balz Trümpy (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009), 127-40.

"Zeitgenössische Musik und ihre Etikettierung: Einige Betrachtungen" [Contemporary Music and its Categories: Some Considerations], in Hörgeschichten: Neue Musik ganz schön vielseitig, edited by Martin Schüssler (Basel: Opinio Verlag, 2001), 183-200.

"Beobachtungen zum Tempo bei John Cage vor 1950" [Observations on Tempo in John Cage's Music before 1950], in Der Grad der Bewegung: Tempovorstellungen und –konzepte in Komposition und Interpretation 1900-1950, edited by Jean-Jacques Dünki, Anton Haefeli, and Regula Rapp (Bern: Peter Lang, 1998), 87-111.

Review of Stravinsky's Late Music by Joseph N. Straus (Cambridge University Press 2001), Music Theory Spectrum 27:2 (2005), 336-53.