Nicholas J. Shea, ABD

Nick is a PhD candidate in music theory at Ohio State University. His work can be best described as an empirical approach to music theory and performance practice.

Currently he is conducting a comprehensive investigation of the relationship between embodied gestures in instrument space and the functional components of musical style. To do so, he adapts an interdisciplinary approach to analysis--by delineating harmonic-formal function, voice leading and guitar performance practice in the works of St. Vincent, conducting a corpus study of form and harmony as they relate to over-learned gestures in modal rock songs, and using motion capture techniques to observe these trends in live performances.

Other ongoing and previous research includes an empirical investigation of textual accent and meter in late 19th-century French and Italian operas, the role of tempo on expressive timing in mazurka performances, and interactions between harmonic preferences and metric perception.


Society for Music Perception and Cognition
New York, NY
Music Theory Society
of New York State
New York City, NY
Franklinton Friday
@STEAM Factory
Columbus, OH
Society for Music Theory
40th Annual Meeting
Arlington, VA


Meter in French and Italian Opera,


A survey and analysis of meter as it corresponds to nationalisms, language, and compositional style in a corpus of 19th century operatic excerpts.

Stochastic Models of Musical Meter

(Christopher White, PI) 

A music cognition study that tracks downbeat preferences in various harmonic contexts. Conducted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

© 2018 Nicholas Shea.