Paul Nauert

Professor of Music

Paul Nauert is a music theorist and composer whose areas of interest include rhythm and meter, music cognition, and mathematical and computer models of compositional resources and procedures.

Research Interests: 

His recent work stems from a view of music as "time organized by sound." Current projects include an essay on harmonic progression in posttonal music, a book (with the working title Rhythms and Algorithms) on computer-based strategies for generating and coordinating musical rhythms, and software tools to support both the harmony and the rhythm projects.

As a composer, Nauert has concentrated in recent years on chamber music, including a piano trio commissioned by the Peabody Trio and a solo piece composed for the guitarist David Tanenbaum. The pianist Marilyn Nonken recently toured the U.S. with a program including NauertÕs A Collection of Caprices, which she will perform again at the Resonances Festival in Paris in Fall 2003.

Education and Training: 
B.M., Eastman School of Music
M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University
Selected Publications: 

  • “Division- and Addition-Based Models of Rhythm in a Computer-Assisted Composition System,” Computer Music Journal 31.4 (2007): 56-70. 


  • “Algorithmic Strategies in A Collection of Caprices,” in The OM Composer’s Book, ed. Carlos Agon, Gerard Assayag, and Jean Bresson (Paris: Editions Delatour France, 2006): 163-178.


  • “Timespan Hierarchies and Posttonal Pitch Structure: A Composer’s Strategies,” Perspectives of New Music (2005) 43.1: 34–53. Another version forthcoming (in English and in French translation) in Around Set Theory: A French-American Musicological Meeting, eds. Moreno Andreatta, Jean-Michel Bardez, John Rahn (Paris: Editions Delatour France).


  • “The Progression Vector: Modelling Aspects of Posttonal Harmony,” Journal of Music Theory 41.1 (2003): 103-124.


  • “Field Notes: A Study of Fixed Pitch Formations,” Perspectives of New Music41.1 (2003): 6-65.


  • “Two Kinds of Time in the Presto of Beethoven’s Op. 130,” Journal of the McGill Music Graduate Society 4 (1995): 65-80.


  • “Theory and Practice in Porgy and Bess: The Gershwin-Schillinger Connection,” Musical Quarterly 78.1 (1994): 9-33.


  • “A Theory of Complexity to Constrain the Approximation of Arbitrary Sequences of Timepoints,” Perspectives of New Music 32.2 (1994): 226-263.




OMTimePack/OMTP, library of functions for the computer-assisted composition and programming environmentOpenMusic (Paris: IRCAM Software Forum).

OMPitchField/OMPF, library of functions for the computer-assisted composition and programming environment OpenMusic (Paris: IRCAM Software Forum).

Please contact me directly for latest OMPF and OMPT source code and documentation.


Recent Compositions

  • Etude with Inserts (digital audio), 2009
  • Charged Particle (digital audio), 2006

        — complete audio


  • Gathering (flute, cello, piano, percussion, and digital audio), 2004, 8:30
  • Chapter and Verse (alto saxophone, piano), 2003, 9:30
  • A Collection of Caprices (solo piano), 2002, 12:00       

        — score excerpt


  • B-Sides, 2001 (digital audio), 11:30
  • Three Baroque Miniatures (guitar, harpsichord), 2001, 8:45
  • Flight PathSoaring (flute, piano), 2000, 12:15

        — score excerpt

        — audio excerpt (performed by Leta Miller and Paul Nauert)


  • R.H. (in tribute to Raymond Herbert) (solo piano), 2000, 2:45
  • Chemistry (violin, marimba), 1999, 11:00
  • Subtext (solo guitar), 1999, 7:00

        — audio excerpt (performed by David Tanenbaum)


  • Spirit (alto flute, marimba), 1998, 9:45
  • Close the Gates of Day (violin, cello, piano), 1998, 12:30
  • Arabesque (solo flute), 1995, 6:00





Selected Presentations: 


1.  On October 12, 2011, my multi-movement solo piano composition Episodes and Elegies will be premiered in New York by pianist Marilyn Nonken, in a recital at NYU's Frederick Loewe Theatre. 


2. On November 4, 2011, my song cycle for tenor voice, piano, and string quartet, A Distant Music, will be premiered by an ensemble including tenor Brian Staufenbiel and pianist Michael McGushin, as part of UCSC's Friday Night Live concert series.





(831) 459-3117
333 DARC
Office Hours: 

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