Margaret (Midge) Thomas
Associate Professor of Music
Chair of the Music Department
President, New England Conference of Music Theorists, 2013-2015
Joined Connecticut College: 1999
B.A., Whitman College; M.A., The University of Washington-Seattle; Ph.D., Yale University
Tonal and non-tonal music theory
Issues of rhythm and time in contemporary music
Music theory pedagogy
Analysis of jazz and popular music
Midge Thomas has a particular interest in the rhythmic practices of contemporary music, with a special focus on the music of the highly inventive twentieth-century composer Conlon Nancarrow. She examines Nancarrow's use of rhythmic complexity in the context of broader concerns shared by many contemporary composers regarding the temporal organization of music, as well as with regard to his interest in early jazz.
She has presented her research at annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory, Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest, and Music Theory Southeast. She has articles and reviews published or forthcoming in Journal of Music Theory, Perspectives of New Music, Intégral, Ex tempore, American Music Review, Music Theory Online, and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. In 2011 Thomas co-authored a book chapter with Robert Richter (Director of Arts Programming) on team teaching.
Professor Thomas served in 2011 on the College's Centennial committee as a judge in the search for a new Centennial song.
Devoted to teaching, Thomas strives to share with her students the power music theory, aural skills, and analysis have to open new paths for understanding and performing music. Courses include: Foundational Theory for Musicians, Tonal Theory, Counterpoint, Post-Tonal Theory, Service-Learning Practicum, and Music Analysis.
Visit the music department website.
"Time is the last frontier of music."
- Conlon Nancarrow