David Heetderks

Associate Professor of Music Theory

Chair, Division of History, Theory and Ethnomusicology


Administration, Commercial Music, Music History, Theory and Ethnomusicology, Music Theory

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
Office #: 

David Heetderks is Chair of the Division of History, Theory and Ethnomusicology. His research includes form and expression in pop/rock music and he is currently studying how text and timbre affirm or deviate from formal expectations in popular song-forms. His previous research investigated geometric models of chromatic voice leading in post-2000 art rock, quotation and distortion of past styles by the band Sonic Youth, and the use of irregular textual and phrase rhythms in indie music. In addition to his popular-music research, Dr. Heetderks has written on the transformation of elements of tonal harmony by 20th-century composers such as Copland, Prokofiev, and Poulenc. His articles have appeared in Music Theory Online, Music Analysis, Popular Music, and other journals.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2011, and from 2011–2018 he taught at Oberlin Conservatory, where he received tenure. Before teaching music theory, Dr. Heetderks worked as a violist and composer, and his compositions have been performed around the United States.