Music Theory is the study of musical structure. We learn how music in historic and contemporary styles is constructed; how to deconstruct it through analysis and analytical modeling; and how to understand it through hermeneutic and historically informed interpretation. The music theory faculty at UofT—Sebastiano Bisciglia, Ryan McClelland, Don McLean, Mark Sallmen, Daphne Tan, and Steven Vande Moortele—is known for its strengths in Schenkerian analysis, musical form, theories of rhythm and meter, history of music theory, music perception and cognition, nineteenth-century music, and the music of the Second Viennese School.

All undergraduate students build musical fluency through two years of core courses in music theory, musicianship, and other skills. At the advanced undergraduate level, Music Theory features a variety of specialized courses, offering students the possibility to graduate with a major in Music History, Culture, and Theory within the BMus program.

At the graduate level, the combination of scholarly excellence, the intimate scale of the program, and the close ties to Musicology and Ethnomusicology make for a vibrant, friendly, and intellectually engaging environment that attracts top-level students pursuing the course-intensive MA or the research-oriented PhD in music theory. Graduate students receive ample opportunity to gain professional experience through teaching and research assistantships. They also benefit from the presence of the Institute for Music in Canada (IMC), the Centre for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Music (CSNCM) and the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) as well as from the regular presentations by guest speakers in the colloquium series, the graduate student roundtables, and special events such as the Form Forum.

Music Theory faculty and students at an area gathering