Brian Moseley

Brian Moseley.

Brian Moseley

Brian Moseley

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor


PhD, City University of New York


Brian Moseley joined the music theory faculty at UB in 2014, and held previous teaching appointments at Furman University (2010–2014) and Brooklyn College (2008–2010). He completed his Ph.D. at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2013, where he wrote a dissertation under Joseph N. Straus that explored musical cartography as a means to engage form in the music of Anton Webern. His scholarly interests include twelve-tone theory and analysis, transformation theory, intertextuality, and voice in popular music.  

His latest published work has been explored surrealist automatism in recent music by Thomas Adès and issues of time and memory in works by Hans Abrahamsen. Other publications include a new theory of form describing the twelve-tone works of Anton Webern in Music Theory Spectrum, as well as articles on music, cycles, and mystery in the Journal of Music Theory and Theory and Practice. He was an original co-author of Open Music Theory, a free, open-access textbook that is now in an expanded second edition.  

At UB, Prof. Moseley is music theory area coordinator and the Department of Music's Director of Undergraduate Studies. He designed and teaches in the department’s new undergraduate “Music Theory and Analysis” sequence, which introduces students to fundamentals of tonal music theory alongside studies in rap, rock, and pop, as well as classical music written in the past 20 years. At the graduate level, Prof. Moseley teaches seminars in the History of Music Theory, Transformation Theory, Popular Music Analysis, Sonata Forms, Post-Tonal Analysis, and Music Since 2000.   

He has also been very active in both the Society for Music Theory and the Music Theory Society of New York State, serving as chair of the SMT’s Networking Committee, and as a board member and program chair of MTSNYS. He was a co-editor of the journal Theory and Practice and is currently on the editorial board of Music Theory Spectrum.

Prof. Moseley is the board vice-president at Buffalo String Works, a non-profit based in Buffalo that provides rigorous music instruction and a creative home for refugee, immigrant, and historically marginalized youth.

Recent Publications

Musique automatique? Adesian automata and the logic of disjuncture,” Thomas Adès Studies. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021).

  • Thomas Adès Studies was a winner of the SMT's Outstanding Multi-Author Collection in 2022.

Transformation Chains, Associational Areas, and a Principle of Form for Webern’s Twelve-tone Music.” Music Theory Spectrum 41, no. 2 (2019).

Cycles in Webern’s Late Music.” Journal of Music Theory 62, no. 2 (2018).