Nicole Biamonte

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor (Sabbatical leave, Fall '23/Winter '24)

Nicole Biamonte
Music Research
Music Theory
Contact Information

555 Sherbrooke Street West

Email address: 
nicole.biamonte [at]

Ph.D., Music Theory (Yale University)

M.Phil., Music Theory (Yale University)
B.F.A., Piano (State University of New York at Purchase)

Current research: 

Dr. Biamonte’s primary research area concerns the theory and analysis of popular music, with a focus on rhythmic and metric functions in rock music. She is also interested in form and harmony in popular music, music theory pedagogy, and musical historicism in the nineteenth century, which was the topic of her dissertation, “The Modes in the Music of Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms: Historical Context and Musical Function.”


Nicole Biamonte has studied music theory, piano, and choral conducting. Before coming to McGill, she taught at Yale University, Skidmore College, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the University of Iowa. She has presented papers at numerous regional, national and international conferences, including keynote addresses at the Music Theory Society of New York State (2013), University of Ottawa Graduate Student Music Conference (2014), New England Conference of Music Theorists (2017), and a joint meeting of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie and the Gesellschaft für Popularmusikforschung (2017).  She will also present keynote addresses at the Texas Society for Music Theory (2019) and the Indiana University Annual Symposium for Research in Music. She has led workshops at Music Theory Midwest (2014), the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg (2017), the Society for Music Analysis in the UK (2018), and the Society for Music Theory (2018). She has served as chair of the music theory area and of the SMT Popular Music Interest Group.  She recently completed a 3-year term as editor of Music Theory Online. She currently serves on the editorial board of Indiana Theory Review and is an international advisory editor for the journal Popular Music.


Rhythm and Meter in Popular Music

Rhythm and Meter

Popular Music Analysis

The Music of the Beatles

Music Theory Pedagogy

Tonal Counterpoint 1 and 2

Form in Popular Music

Basic Materials of Western Music

Undergraduate Core Theory

Selected publications: 

(some available for download at

“Rhythmic and Metric Theorisation in Rock Music,” in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Rock Music Research, ed. Allan F. Moore, Routledge (forthcoming 2019)

“Rhythmic Functions in Pop-Rock Music,” in The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis, ed. Smith, Scotto, and Brackett (Routledge, 2018)

“Pop/Rock Tonalities,” in Tonality Since 1950, ed. Wörner, Scheideler, and Rupprecht, Franz Steiner Verlag (2017)

Conference report on “A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” Univ. of Michigan, June 2017, Music Theory Online 23.2 (2017)

“Online Music Theory in Music Theory Online,” Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 13/2 (2016)

“Les fonctions modales dans le rock et la musique metal,” L’analyse musicale aujourd’hui, ed. Mondher Ayari, Jean-Michel Bardez, and Xavier Hascher (Université de Strasbourg, 2015)

“Formal Functions of Metric Dissonance in Rock Music,” Music Theory Online 20.2 (2014)

Review of Jeremy Day-O’Connell, Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy,
Theory and Practice 37/38 (2013)

“Variations on a Scheme: Bach’s ‘Crucifixus’ and Chopin’s and Scriabin’s E-Minor Preludes,”
Intégral 26 (2012)

“Introduction,” special issue on Form in Rock Music, Music Theory Online 17.3 (2011)

Review of David Damschroder, Listening to Harmony, Nineteenth-Century Music Review 8/2 (2011)

“Musical Otherness in Rush,” in Rush and Philosophy, ed. Durrell Bowman (Open Court Press, 2011)

“Triadic Modal and Pentatonic Patterns in Rock Music,” Music Theory Spectrum 32/2 (2010), repr. Ashgate Library of Essays on Popular Music: Rock, ed. Mark Spicer (2011)

Editor, Pop-Culture Pedagogy in the Music Classroom: Teaching Tools from American Idol to YouTube (Scarecrow Press, 2010); author, introduction and chapter on “Musical Representation in the Video Games Guitar Hero and Rock Band

“Augmented-Sixth Chords vs. Tritone Substitutes,” Music Theory Online 14.2 (2008)

Review of Allan Moore, ed., Analyzing Popular Music, Journal of Musicological Research 26/4 (2007)

“Modality in Beethoven’s Folksong Settings,” Beethoven Forum 13/1 (2006)

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