Brian Miller (2014) is a PhD candidate in music theory, having previously completed a BS in computer engineering and an MM in music theory at the University of Kansas. His dissertation revisits Leonard Meyer’s theory of musical style, reading Meyer’s career not in terms of the development of the schema (the latter being a topic of great importance for recent music theory) but rather as a story of the humanistic uptake and decline of information theory and cybernetics—and especially those topics’ later subsumption into discourses of cognitive psychology and other fields. Combining a focus on Meyer’s early intellectual sources with a critical reading of his mature theory alongside major theorists of style in visual culture, the project goes on to consider the implications of computation for the concept of musical style as manifested in recent approaches to corpus studies as well as in algorithmic performance and improvisation. Articles and chapters forthcoming or in preparation consider topics ranging from the semiotics of musical Markov models to robots that play jazz (the latter based on a talk that won the Society for American Music’s Mark Tucker Award for best student paper).
Other interests include sound studies (as a co-organizer of Yale’s Sound Studies Working Group) and musical intersections with media theory and philosophy (a forthcoming book chapter considers the implications of Adorno’s relatively understudied Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction for the concept of musical style). Otherwise, he spends as much time as possible on the tennis courts in East Rock, occasionally practices the violin, and enjoys eating barbecue (preferably in Kansas City).