John Muniz

John Muniz, Associate Professsor of Music Theory at the University of Arizona

Wednesday, February 8, 2023,

2:30-3:30 pm

ASA Koffler Great Room & Zoom



Who has not been moved to tears by some great piece of music—say Samuel Barber’s “Adagio” for strings–or filled with joy by a scherzo of Haydn or Mahler? What is it in these combinations of sound that tugs at our heartstrings? In only one hour, Dr. John Muniz aims to help us understand how to more deeply appreciate the inner workings of musical form as they reach deep into our psyche to evoke emotion.

So, what makes the compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven or others so moving? In the presence of beautiful melody and sonorous harmony, we tend to think it is these alone that move us. But it is form—the music’s unfolding play of impetus, tension, and closure—that shapes these melodies and harmonies, uniting them into an expressive whole. John Muniz will show how understanding form gives us understanding of the depth of expression contained in examples from works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

John Muniz joined the University of Arizona music theory faculty in 2015, after completing a PhD at Yale University. Earlier, he earned a MM degree from Boston University in Composition. He has published articles and given talks internationally on topics at the intersection of analytic philosophy and music theory, such as “Rhythmic Processes in Shoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire,” and “Transformation at the Margin’s of Tonality: Scriabin’s Piano Sonata, Op. 64.” He is an active composer whose works are frequently premiered in Tucson and elsewhere.

Compiled and edited by Rosemary Brown, Academy Village Volunteer

You can connect to Zoom either by using the following URL: or by opening a browser to and typing in Meeting ID: 954 5651 1620 and Passcode: 85747 

Feb 8: “Musical Form as Expression: What to Listen For”