University of Connecticut

School of Fine ArtsMusic Department

Peter Kaminsky

Professor of Music Theory

Peter Kaminsky earned his doctor of philosophy and master of arts degrees in music theory from the Eastman School of Music and a bachelor’s degree in music education, with a concentration in piano, from Boston University. He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Louisiana State University before joining the University of Connecticut faculty in 1993. His research interests include the music of Ravel, text-music relationships, popular music, structural principles in cyclic works, and, recently, performance and analysis and its pedagogy. He has published articles and reviews in Music Theory Spectrum, Music Analysis, Theoria, College Music Symposium, Music Theory Online, Theory and Practice, The Cambridge Companion to Ravel, and the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie.Kaminsky is editor and contributor to Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music(forthcoming, University of Rochester Press). He has been an invited lecturer at Penn State, Boston, Yale, and Wesleyan universities, Hartt Conservatory, and the University of Texas at Austin. He has served the Society for Music Theory as a member-at-large of the Executive Board (2005–6), as a member of the Graduate Workshop Program Subcommittee (2006), and as a member and chair of the Program Committee (2006–7). With Janet Schmalfeldt, Kaminsky was co-leader of the Graduate Student Workshop in Performance and Analysis at the 2008 meeting of the New England Conference of Music Theorists, which he serves as president.

Selected Publications

In press: Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music, edited by Peter Kaminsky. University of Rochester Press.

“Ravel’s Programmatic Impulse.” Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie, Volume 5/1 (2008). Available online at

Review, Engaging Music, edited by Deborah Stein. Theoria (August 2006).

Review, Beatlestudies 3: Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 Conference. Music Theory Online11, No. 1 (March 2005).

“Ravel’s Late Music and the Problem of ‘Polytonality’.” Music Theory Spectrum 26, No. 3 (2004): 237–264.

“Composers’ Words, Theorists’ Analyses, Ravel’s Music (Sometimes the Twain Shall Meet).” College Music Symposium 43 (2003): 161–177.

“Of Children, Princesses, Dreams and Isomorphisms: Text-Music Transformation in Ravel’s Vocal Works.” Music Analysis19, No. 1 (2000): 29–69.

“Vocal music and the lures of exoticism and irony.” In The Cambridge Companion to Ravel, edited by Deborah Mawer. Cambridge University Press (2000): 162–187.

“Revenge of the Boomers: Notes on the Analysis of Rock Music.” Music Theory Online 6, No. 3 (August 2000).

“Piano Cycles in Different Editions.” Clavier 37, No. 1 (January 1998): 26–9.

“How to Do Things With Words and Music: Towards an Analysis of Selected Ensembles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.” Theory and Practice 21 (1996): 55–78.

“Practical Alternatives in Learning New Scores” (with Jeffrey Renshaw). The Instrumentalist 49, No. 3 (October 1994).

“The Pop Album as Song Cycle: Paul Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’.” College Music Society Symposium 32 (1992): 38–54.

Review, Phrase Rhythm in Tonal Music, by William Rothstein. Journal of Musicological Research 12, Supplement (1992): 147s–156s.

“Principles of Formal Structure in Schumann’s Early Piano Cycles.” Music Theory Spectrum 11, No. 2 (1989): 207–225.