Andrew Chung

Andrew Chung, headshot

Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Department(s)

Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
Office #: 
1002
Phone: 
301-305-1009

Andrew Chung serves as assistant professor of music theory at the University of North Texas whose scholarly work specializes in the history and theoretical analysis of 20th and 21st-century European and American art music in experimental and avant-garde traditions. Dr. Chung has strong interdisciplinary interests ranging between music theory and historical musicology, further encompassing continental philosophy (especially the philosophy of language), linguistic anthropology and sound studies.

An upcoming project assesses music and sound art in American and European contexts and their positions and affordances regarding climate change, global warming, and the Anthropocene. This project identifies the political and ethical models disclosed in recent music and sound art for comporting ourselves to the ecological crisis and imagining forms of solidarity in the face of anthropogenic ecological catastrophes. He has strong interest in how recent musical and sonic artworks suggest frameworks that can adequately address race and difference, and their imbrication within the differentially and unequally distributed effects of our warming planet. This work, and all of his work, seeks to dignify critical theory, philosophy, and interdisciplinary understandings not as alternatives to musical analysis, but as means of musical analysis and musical theorizing.

Dr. Chung is completing the manuscript of a book, provisionally entitled Caught in the Act: Essays in Music as Performative Utterance. This project interrogates certain dogmas about music and language. It argues that although music scholars have made many pronouncements and arguments both for and against the music-language metaphor, they have typically presumed the same picture of language and language meaning—one which locates representation as the central modality of linguistic signification. This project retheorizes musical meaning from the ground up, locating the grounds of musical meaning not in a theory of representation, but in an account of how music, as utterance, performs actions and produces effects that are built upon philosopher J. L. Austin's idea of language as "performative" utterance, from his treatise How to Do Things with Words. Via Austin, he argues that musical meaning inheres in the use of music "to do things," to echo Austin's title. This work challenges the status of representation in musical thought, and argues that music's meaningfulness comes from the things that it does, and the effects that it has, putting to rest the false dichotomy between the things that music does and what it means.

Dr. Chung earned a BA in music and neuroscience & behavior from Wesleyan University, and an MA in music, MPhil in music, and PhD in music from Yale University.