Charles J. Smith

Associate Professor of Music

Slee Chair in Music Theory

Coordinator of Music Theory

Ph.D. University of Michigan

410 Baird Hall
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260

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

Articles in Professional Journals and Collections:

  • "Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: The Enigmatic Narrative of Chopin's C# minor Prelude [Op. 45]". In Engaging Music: Essays in Musical Analysis. Edited by Deborah Stein. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • "Musical Form and Fundamental Structure: An Investigation of Schenker's Formenlehre." Music Analysis 15 (1996): 191-297. Winner of SMT 1999 Outstanding Publication Award.
  • "The Functional Extravagance of Chromatic Chords." Music Theory Spectrum 8 (1986): 94-139.
  • "Rejoinder to Professor Beach" [w/ David Beach, "On Analysis, Beethoven, and Extravagance"].  Music Theory Spectrum 9 (1987): 186-194.
  • "Prolongations and Progressions as Musical Syntax." In Music Theory: Special Topics, pp. 139-174. Edited by Richmond Browne. NY: Academic Press, 1981.
  • "Musical A Priori's: An Investigation of Explanatory Strategies." College Music Symposium 19 (1979): 103-113.
  • "Registering Distinctions: Octave Non-equivalence in Chopin's Butterfly Etude." In Theory Only 3/5 (1977): 32-40.
  • "Toward a Phenomenalistic Account of Music's Performances." In Theory Only 2/11-12 (1977): 17-29.
  • "Notes on Voice-Leading in Schoenberg."  In Theory Only 2/10 (1977): 23-28.
  • Analysis Symposium: Brahms, "Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht." In Theory Only 2/6 (1976): 35-43.
  • "(Supra-) Durational Patterns in Chopin's Revolutionary Etude." In Theory Only 2/5 (1976)): 3-12.
  • "The Determinacy of Linear Relations" [comment on Benjamin's "Interlocking Diatonic Collections"].  In Theory Only 2/3-4 (1976): 29-42.
  • "The Notations of Analysis: An Approach to a Theory of Musical Relations." In Theory Only 1/9-10 (1975-1976): 9-18.
  • Analysis Symposium: Mozart Symphony #40 [w/ Wallace Berry, Sylvan Kalib, & William Poland]. In Theory Only 1/7 (1975): 19-23, 35-36.
  • "On Hearing the Chopin Preludes as a Coherent Set: A survey of some possible structural models for Op. 28." In Theory Only 1/4 (1975): 5-16.
  • "Transcriptions? or But is it idiomatic?" In Theory Only 1/4 (1975): 28-32.
  • "Towards the Construction of Intersecting Divergent Models for Chopin's 'Three against Two' Etude." In Theory Only 1/3 (1975): 19-25.


  • Review of Arthur Komar's Linear-Derived  Harmony. Music Theory Spectrum 16 (1994): 102-107.
  • Review of Thomas Clifton's Music as  Heard. Music Theory Spectrum 7 (1985): 207-213.
  • "Beethoven via Schenker" [Review  of Dover ed. of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas]. In Theory Only  4 (1978): 37-47.
  • Review of Jim Samson's Music in Transition:  A Study of Tonal Expansion and Atonality. NOTES 34  (1978): 601-603.
  • "Rhythm Restratified" [Review  of Maury Yeston's The Stratification of Musical Rhythm].  Perspectives of New Music 16 (1977): 144-176.

Conference Papers and Special Lectures:

  • "Is It Original, or Is It Good: The Paradox of Rachmaninoff's Intra-Tonal Chromatic Harmony"  Rhodes International Rachmaninoff Conference, 2005.
  • "The Trials and Tribulations of Tristan Chords"  University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Thinking about Music Series, 2005.
  • "Functional Fishing with Tonnetz: A Dualistic Syntax of Transformations" Society for Music Theory, National Conference, National Conference, Madison, 2003.
  • Formal Respondent (invited by the author),to Peter Smith's "Brahms's Sonata Form, Schenker's Formenlehre, and the Idea of Dimensional Counterpoint" Society for Music Theory, National Conference, Philadelphia, 2001.
  • "Functional Fishing with Tonnetz: Toward a Grammar of Transformations and Progressions" Symposium on Neo-Riemannian Theory Univ. at Buffalo, 2001.
  • "Head-Tones, Mediants, Reprises: A Formal Narrative of Brahms's Handel Variations" Oxford Music Analysis Conference, St. Peter's College, Oxford, UK, 2000.
  • "Of Roots-and Functions-and Linear Basses: Tales Our Harmony Teachers Told Us." UB Music Lecture Series, 1999.
  • "Head-Tones, Mediants, Reprises: A Formal Narrative of Brahms's Handel Variations". Eastman School of Music, 1995.
  • "Musical Form and Fundamental Structure: A Critical Extension of Schenker's Formenlehre". Society for Music Theory, National Conference, Cincinnati, 1991.
  • "A Critical Investigation of Schenker's Formenlehre". Cornell University, 1990
  • "A Study of Connections: Chopin's Last-Minute Revisions in the Autograph of Op. 10/3". American Musicological Society, National Conference, Vancouver, 1985.
  • "Functional Extravagance: A Theory of Chromatic Chords". Society for Music Theory, National Conference, New Haven, 1983.
  • "Analysis as Metaphor". Notre Dame, 1982.
  • "Analysis as Metaphor". Symposium "Analytic Method: Its Purposes, Premises, Problems, and Polemics". Society for Music Theory, National Conference, Denver, 1980.
  • Invited Participant. Symposium "Methodologies: Assumptions and Presumptions". Society for Music Theory, National Conference, Evanston, 1977.