Centering Meter, Provincializing the West:
Toward a Diversified and Inclusive Music Theory Curriculum

Hanisha Kulothparan, Eastman School of Music

Richard Cohn (2015) and Michael Tenzer (2021) advocate for music theory curricula to reposition rhythm/meter studies as a core element for students to achieve more accurate performances and analyses of classical music and to reflect on their role as a musician in the modern world respectively. In this paper, I expand upon their perspectives: increasing representation of meter within a core curriculum creates more opportunities to incorporate a diverse range of music. First, I demonstrate a sampling of meter-related class activities that include music outside of the Western canon, and second, I sketch a core curriculum that accommodates these activities.

Attendees can expect to experience several activities appropriate for an aural skills or music theory class, develop strategies of how to integrate these activities into the core-curriculum, and learn about the benefits of increased rhythm and meter studies for diversifying the music theory classes.