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Phone: 812-855-9846
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Daphne Tan

Assistant Professor of Music (Music Theory)

Contact Information:
Simon Center, M225E


Music Theory

  • Ph.D., Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, 2013
  • M.A., McGill University, 2007
  • B.Mus., McGill University, 2005

Daphne Tan is assistant professor of music theory and aural skills supervisor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is also an affiliate member of the Indiana University Cognitive Science Program.

Tan earned her Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, in 2013. Her doctoral thesis, “Ernst Kurth at the Boundary of Music Theory and Psychology,” received the school’s Alfred Mann Dissertation Award.

Tan’s research concerns the interaction of music theory, philosophy, and psychology in the early twentieth century and in the present day. Her work on the history of music theory has focused on the music-theoretical ideas of Kurth (1886–1946). She is particularly interested in aspects of his writings that relate to Gestalt psychology, listening and embodiment, harmonic dualism, and processual form. Her articles on Kurth have been published in Theoria and in the Journal of Music Theory (forthcoming). More recently, she has turned her attention to the scholarly activities of musicologist Victor Zuckerkandl (1896–1965).

Tan is also engaged in music cognition research, with particular interests in emotion, musical form, and expertise. With collaborators at the Eastman School of Music and at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (Montréal), she has published articles in Music Perception and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies.

She has presented work in both of her research areas at national and regional conferences, including meetings of the Society for Music Theory, Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Music Theory Midwest, and the Music Theory Society of New York State. She has served on the Society for Music Theory’s Committee on Diversity and on the Executive Board of Music Theory Midwest.

Prior to joining the Jacobs School of Music faculty in 2013, Tan taught courses in music theory and aural skills at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, Schulich School of Music (McGill University), and Eastman Community Music School.

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