About the Author

Professor Kenneth Smith has worked at the University of Liverpool since 2011 after holding posts at Keele and Durham (where he completed his PhD in 2009). His first book, Skryabin, Philosophy and the Music of Desire was published early in 2013, and he has published essays in music journals on Alexander Skryabin, Karol Szymanowski, Charles Ives and Alexander von Zemlinsky. In addition to his interest in Western art-music from the turn of the twentieth century, Kenneth is also interested in the analysis of popular music with a co-edited book (The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches, 2018) containing a chapter on Arab Strap, and he has published on form and harmony in Modest Mouse (2014) and Suede (2017).

Kenneth is president of the Society for Music Analysis, having served as Events Officer and Trustee.

Kenneth Smith


2022 "Music in Radio Drama: The Curious Case of the Acousmatic Detective," Journal of the Royal Musical Association (forthcoming).
2021 "Scriabin’s Accelerative 'Two Dimensional' Sonata Forms", in Interpreting Scriabin, Ed. Kenneth Smith & Vasilis Kallis (Boydell & Brewer)
  Interpreting Scriabin, ed. Kenneth Smith &Vasilis Kallis (Boydell & Brewer)
  "The Enigma of Entropy in Extended Harmony," Music Theory Spectrum 43/i.
2020 "Diatonic Refraction through Metatonal Spaces" in Mining the Gap: Musics with and after Tonality, ed. Paul Fleet (Routledge)
  "Skryabin’s Mystical Space and the Spectral Attitude" in Oxford Handbook to Spectralism, ed. Bryan Christin (OUP)
  "Groping in the Darkness: Harmonic Spaces, Energetic Cycles and Cybernetic Transformations in Alma Mahler-Werfel's 'Licht in der Nacht'" in Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers iii, ed. Laurel Parsons & Brenda Ravenscroft (OUP)
  "Pulp: a Paradigm for Perversion in Pornosonic Pop," Identity in Popular Music (Routledge)
  Desire in Chromatic Harmony (OUP)
2018 "Vertigo’s Musical Gaze: Neo-Riemannian Symmetries and Spirals," Music Analysis 37/i (Special Issue on Film and Music, ed. Reyland, N.)
  Routledge Companion to Pop Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches, ed. Ciro Scotto, Kenneth Smith, John Bracket (Routledge)
  "Becoming Minoritarian: Embodiment and Disembodiment in Szymanowski’s Mythes, Op. 30" in Reyland, N, Thumpston. R (eds), Music Analysis and The Body (Leuven University Press) (9k)
  "Cybernetic Groove Cycles and the Mysteries of Desire in Arab Strap," with      Stephen Overy in Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis.
2017 "Sexual Subversion and the Subdominant: The Case of Suede" Music Analysis, March 2017 (Special Issue, Guest Ed.)
  "The Psychodynamics of Neo-Riemannian Theory" in Wilson, S. (ed) Music – Psychoanalysis – Musicology (Ashgate: Farnham).
2014 "Formal Negativities, Breakthroughs, Ruptures & Continuities in the Music of Modest Mouse," Popular Music 33/iii
  "The Tonal Energetics of the Transformational Universe: Cohn, Rings, Tymoczko," Music Analysis 33/ii
2013 Skryabin, Philosophy and the Music of Desire (Royal Music Association Monographs 19, Ashgate: Farnham)
2011 "Skryabin’s Revolving Harmonies, Lacanian Desire and Riemannian Funktionstheorie," Twentieth Century Music 7/2
  "The Tonic Chord and Lacan’s Object a in Selected Songs by Charles Ives," Journal of the Royal Music Association 136
  "A Science of Tonal Love'? Drive and Desire in Twentieth-Century Harmony: the Erotics of Skryabin." Music Analysis, 29(i-ii-iii)
2010 "Lacan, Zemlinsky and Der Zwerg: Mirror, Metaphor and Fantasy," Perspectives of New Music 48/2