Wesleyan portrait of Dylan J. Principi

Dylan J. Principi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music


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MA Princeton University
PHD Princeton University

Dylan J. Principi

Dylan Principi is a researcher and multiple woodwind performer who puts philosophical hermeneutics in service of music theory, musicology, and sound studies. Grounded in twentieth-century art, jazz, and popular music, Dylan’s work addresses a set of problems related to musical exceptionalism—the belief that music is intrinsically special. His book project and forthcoming publication in Music Theory Online trace the evolution of “topic theory” to understand how the ideas of absolute music and aesthetic autonomy have gatekept the interpretation of musical meaning from the nineteenth century to the present. Likewise, Dylan’s article in 19th-Century Music assesses the resurgence of interest in music’s alleged ineffability and offers reasons to seek music’s meaningfulness elsewhere. His research has been featured at meetings of the International Musicological Society, the American Musicological Society, the Society for Music Theory, and at special-interest conferences across Europe and North America. Before coming to Wesleyan, Dylan taught courses in music theory and history at Princeton University, The College of New Jersey, and Temple University.

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