Nancy Murphy


Lecturer in Music Theory


Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2015


Office: GoH 407
Phone: (773) 834-4442

Nancy Murphy is Lecturer in Music Theory at the University of Chicago, where she teaches the Harmony and Voice Leading sequence and coordinates the Ear Training Labs. Prior to joining the faculty at UChicago, she taught Harmony and Voice Leading, Music Fundamentals, Musicianship, and Keyboard Harmony at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Western University.

She completed her Ph.D. in Music Theory at UBC in December 2015, with her dissertation on meter, timing, and text expression in music by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Nancy has presented at national and international conferences, on topics including disco remixes, Brazilian Capoeira music and dance, and her current research area, meter in singer-songwriter music. Her recent paper at the SMT conference in St. Louis considers popular music transcription as an act of analysis, in which the choice of meter for transcription can influence the interpretation of lyrical meaning. At the same conference, she presented at the SMT Popular Music Interest Group meeting, with a study of Bob Dylan’s metric flexibility in his blues-influenced song “Down the Highway.”

Nancy is currently serving as chair of the SMT Popular Music Interest Group (2016-2018).