Select Page

David Bashwiner

Ph.D., The University of Chicago
Associate Professor of Theory & Composition
Center for the Arts Room 2103
Curriculum Vitae

David Bashwiner holds a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Music (with a concentration in Music Theory) from the University of Chicago, where he wrote a dissertation entitled, “Musical Emotion: Toward a Biologically Grounded Theory.” He also holds a master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (with a concentration in Biopsychology) from Cornell University.

Bashwiner’s interests are varied, spanning from musical neuroscience, evolutionary musicology, and the music of animals to film music, popular music, and the importance of Jimmy Page’s magical practices to his compositions for the band Led Zeppelin. Recent work on the neuroscience of musical creativity (in collaboration with Rex Jung) was sponsored by a Research: Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Published works:

  • “On Scary Music: The Amygdala in Music Theory” (submitted for publication, is available upon request).
  • “Musical Creativity ‘Revealed’ in Brain Structure: Interplay Between Motor, Default Mode, and Limbic Networks” (forthcoming from Scientific Reports, co-written with Rex Jung).
  • Entries on “Attention,” “Modularity,” and “Tension” in Music in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Encyclopedia (Sage, 2014)
  • “Musical Analysis for Multimedia: A View from Music Theory,” in S.-L. Tan et al. (eds.), The Psychology of Multimedia (Oxford, 2013).
  • “Lifting the Foot: The Neural Underpinnings of the ‘Pathological’ Response to Music,” in B. M. Stafford (ed.),A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field: Bridging the Humanities-Neurosciences Divide (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
  • Musical Emotion: Toward a Biologically Grounded Theory. Dissertation (University of Chicago, 2010).

Selected Presentations:

  • Casino Royale’s First Chase Sequence in ‘Multi-Score’: Music, Drama, Camerawork.” Presented at the Society for Music Theory’s Film and Multimedia Interest Group meeting in St. Louis in Oct. 30, 2015.
  • “Musical Creativity ‘Revealed’ in Brain Structure: Interplay between Motor, Default Mode, and Limbic Networks.” Presented at the Society for Music Theory’s Music Cognition Interest Group meeting in St. Louis in Oct. 30, 2015. This was a report of the research accepted for publication under the same name by Scientific Reports, as well as on the NEA grant award that funded the research.
  • “Complex Emotions in Score-Based Multimedia Analysis: Case Studies from Platoon and The King’s Speech.” Talk presented at SMPC 2015 in Nashville, TN (Aug. 1–5, 2015).
  • “On Scary Music: The Amygdala and Music Theory,” presented to the Society for Music Theory, Charlotte, NC, Nov. 1, 2013.
  • “Musical Creativity and STEM Creativity: A Questionnaire and Structural Imaging Study,” presented to the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, Toronto, Aug. 10, 2013.
  • “Musical Manipulation in Film: A Theory of Mechanism,” invited talk presented April 12, 2012, at the Neuro-Humanities Entanglement Conference, Georgia Institute of Technology, hosted by emeritus professor and art historian Barbara M. Stafford.
  • “The Syntactic and Statistical Parameters Engage Differently with the Affective Apparatus.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Music and Emotion, Durham, UK, September 2, 2009.
  • “What is Musical Syntax? An Evolutionary Perspective.” Paper presented at Music Theory Midwest, Minneapolis, May 15–16, 2009. Winner of an Honorable Mention for the Arthur J. Komar Award.
  • “Interaction of Speech and Music in the Film Soundtrack.” Paper presented at the conference Music and the Moving Image, NYU, Steinhardt School, May 18, 2007

Selected Grants:

  • NEA Research: Art Works, 2013. “Transfer Effects of Music on Brain Structure and Function.” Applied for with Rex Jung (UNM Neurosurgery and Psychology.) Award Amount: $15,000

Pin It on Pinterest