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August Sheehy

Assistant Professor, History/Theory sheehy

August Sheehy’s research examines the relationship between music analysis and history, with a focus on German-speaking Europe between the French Revolution and WWII. He is interested in the ways music theory and analysis connect musical experience to other domains of knowledge— politics and law, religion and theology, philosophy and psychology, art and culture—and in the personal, political, and social effects of these connections. His current book project,   Sonata Politics, excavates the historical origins of sonata form as a theoretical concept. He also has research interests in jazz and improvisation.

Recent seminars Sheehy has taught include   The Politics of Musical Form  and   Schenkerian (Psycho-) Analysis. He also teaches proseminars on techniques of tonal analysis centered on specific pieces (e.g., Haydn’s “London” Symphonies, Beethoven’s Op. 18 String Quartets) and undergraduate courses in music theory and analysis.

Sheehy has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences including the American Musicological Society, Society for Music Theory, Perspectives on Musical Improvisation (Oxford University), and the German Studies Association. His articles have been published in   Music Theory Online   and   Debussy’s Resonance  (Rochester University Press, 2018).

A recipient of a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship (2015–16) for work in religious studies and ethics, Sheehy is also the co-organizer, with Margarethe Adams, of “ Sound and Secularity,” an interdisciplinary symposium to be held at Stony Brook University in Spring 2019.


  • PhD in Music History and Theory, University of Chicago
  • MA in Music Theory, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • BM in Composition, Berklee College of Music