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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Heather Laurel

Adjunct Lecturer/Theory & Practicum


Division of Humanities and the Arts




Shepard Hall 78C

p: 212-650-7683


  • Profile

    Heather Laurel is a soprano and music theorist. She has taught music theory, history, and ear training at Ithaca College, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Skidmore College, the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division, among other schools. Professor Laurel's research interests include the music of seventeenth-century Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi (1619–77), nineteenth-century women composers, and popular music analysis. She has given numerous papers on the music of feminist singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, the Grateful Dead, and other improvisational rock musicians. She is the author of the Grove Dictionary of American Music entries on Billy Joel as well as the Dave Matthews Band. Prof. Laurel has performed throughout the tristate area, specializing in contemporary music. She is a native New Yorker, an avid runner and a Yankee fan.

  • Education

    Ph.D. Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY

    M. Phil, Music, The Graduate Center, CUNY

    M.F.A., Brandeis University

    B.M., Mannes College of Music (The New School)

  • Courses Taught

    Core Music Theory sequence (Theory 1, 2, & 3)

    Core Aural Skills sequence (Theory Practicum 1–4)

    Women & Music Survey Course

    Women in American Popular Music

  • Research Interests

    Rock and popular music analysis, including the music of Ani DiFranco (b. 1970), Improvisational Rock (The Grateful Dead, Phish, and others), and Billy Joel.

    The music of Barbara Strozzi (1619-77).

    Nineteenth-century women composers (primarily the music of Fanny Hensel and Clara Schumann).

    Schenkerian analysis.

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