Nicole Biamonte

Academic title(s): 

Associate Professor, Music Theory

Editor, Music Theory Online

Music Research
Music Theory
Contact Information
Email address: 
nicole [dot] biamonte [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Ph.D., Music Theory (Yale University)
B.F.A., Piano (State University of New York at Purchase)


Nicole Biamonte has studied music theory, piano, and choral conducting. Before coming to McGill, she taught at Yale University, Skidmore College, and the University of Iowa. She has presented papers at numerous regional, national and international conferences, including keynote addresses at the Music Theory Society of New York State (2013) and the University of Ottawa Graduate Student Music Conference (2014), and she led a pre-conference workshop on rhythm and meter in rock music at Music Theory Midwest (2014). She has served as chair of the music theory area and of the SMT Popular Music Interest Group, and is the incoming editor of Music Theory Online.


Dr. Biamonte’s primary research area concerns the theory and analysis of popular music, with a focus on rhythmic, metric, and harmonic functions in rock music. She is also interested in issues of music theory pedagogy, particularly as they relate to incorporating examples and analytical models from popular music, and in musical historicism in the nineteenth century, which was the topic of her dissertation, “The Modes in the Music of Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms: Historical Context and Musical Function.”

Selected publications: 

(some available for download at

“Les fonctions modales dans le rock et la musique metal,” L’analyse musicale aujourd’hui, ed. Mondher Ayari, Jean-Michel Bardez, and Xavier Hascher (Université de Strasbourg (in press)

“Formal Functions of Metric Dissonance in Rock Music,” Music Theory Online 20.2 (2014)

Review of Jeremy Day-O’Connell, Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy,
Theory and Practice 37/38 (2013)

“Variations on a Scheme: Bach’s ‘Crucifixus’ and Chopin’s and Scriabin’s E-Minor Preludes,”
Intégral 26 (2012)

“Introduction,” special issue on Form in Rock Music, Music Theory Online 17.3 (2011)

Review of David Damschroder, Listening to Harmony, Nineteenth-Century Music Review 8/2 (2011)

“Musical Otherness in Rush,” in Rush and Philosophy, ed. Durrell Bowman (Open Court Press, 2011)

“Triadic Modal and Pentatonic Patterns in Rock Music,” Music Theory Spectrum 32/2 (2010), repr. Ashgate Library of Essays on Popular Music: Rock, ed. Mark Spicer (2011)

Editor, Pop-Culture Pedagogy in the Music Classroom: Teaching Tools from American Idol to YouTube (Scarecrow Press, 2010); author, introduction and chapter on “Musical Representation in the Video Games Guitar Hero and Rock Band

“Augmented-Sixth Chords vs. Tritone Substitutes,” Music Theory Online 14.2 (2008)

Review of Allan Moore, ed., Analyzing Popular Music, Journal of Musicological Research 26/4 (2007)

“Modality in Beethoven’s Folksong Settings,” Beethoven Forum 13/1 (2006)