Charles J. Smith

Associate Professor of Music

Slee Chair in Music Theory


Director of Graduate Studies
Music Theory Unit Coordinator
Director, Slee Institute of Tonal Harmony

Ph.D. University of Michigan

410 Baird Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260

tel: (716) 645-0639
fax: (716) 645-3824
Charles Smith

Associate Professor of Music Theory at Buffalo since 1987.

Has served as Coordinator of Music Theory Area almost continuously since arriving at UB, and Chair of the Department since 2006.

On-going research involves nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century chromaticism, Schenkerian analysis, philosophy of music, and history of music theory.

Winner of the 1999 Society for Music Theory Distinguished Publication Award, for a 100-page article, in Music Analysis, on the relationship between Schenkerian analysis and the theory of conventional form—in particular on how conventional forms often provide the most reliable criteria for the choice of backgrounds, and also illuminate some inconsistencies in Schenker’s work.

Specialist in the teaching of undergraduate theory, and author of the 3-volume harmony/counterpoint text Tonal Models of Music used in UB undergrad courses.

Invited Faculty at the Mannes Summer Institute on Chromaticism, at Yale, summer 2006.

Chair of the 2006 Publication Awards Committee of the Society for Music Theory.

Has served on the editorial boards of Music Theory Spectrum and In Theory Only, of which he was one of the founding editors.

Has been a Visiting Professor of Music Theory at both the Eastman School of Music and the University of British Columbia. Taught at The University of Connecticut from 1978 to 1987.

Received his Ph.D. in Music Theory from The University of Michigan in 1980, with a dissertation, “Patterns and Strategies: Four Perspectives on Analytical Characterization”.

Articles on music theory published in Music Analysis, Music Theory Spectrum, In Theory Only, Perspectives of New Music, College Music Symposium, and the collection Music Theory: Special Topics.