Kristi Hardman (she/her/hers)

PhD Candidate, Music Theory

I am a Ph.D. candidate in music theory at the Graduate Center, CUNY. I hold a B.Mus and B.Ed from the University of Manitoba and an MA in music theory from the UBC. Currently, I teach music theory at Hunter College.

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Academic Interests

  • popular music 
  • Indigenous music made in North America 
  • rhythm and meter
  • sound qualities
  • computer-assisted analysis
  • text/music relations
  • ethics of analysis 
  • issues of transcription

Doctor of Philosophy, Music Theory (ABD)                   Projected Completion: April 2022

The Graduate Center, CUNY                                                                             New York, NY

Dissertation: “Experiencing Sonic Change: Acoustic Properties as a Form- and Meter-Bearing Elements in Popular Music Vocals”

            Supervisor: Johanna Devaney; First Reader: Mark Spicer

Abstract: Using acoustic measurements, I examine the interaction of sound qualities, including loudness, pitch, brightness, and noisiness, and how these can affect our experience of form and rhythm and meter. As a demonstration of the methodology, I examine the individual sounds of Tanya Tagaq’s katajjaq (throat singing), situating them on continua of relative values that allows for a nuanced comparison of their acoustic properties. In other chapters, I study changes in the sound qualities of select vocal songs, including those from Tanya Tagaq, Top 40 popular songs, and recent mainstream country music, comparing the changes in acoustic properties to my preconceived understanding of the form and meter of the songs, expanding the parameters that are generally understood to contribute to our experience of form and rhythm and meter.


Master of Arts, Music Theory                                                     Degree Granted: May 2016

University of British Columbia                                                                         Vancouver, BC

Thesis: “Hearing Meter from Different Angles: Interactive Vocal Meter and Hypermeter in Selected Songs and their Covers”

Supervisor: Richard Kurth; First Reader: John Roeder


Bachelor of Music                                                                        Degree Granted: May 2013

University of Manitoba                                                                                      Winnipeg, MB


Bachelor of Education                                                                 Degree Granted: May 2013

University of Manitoba                                                                                      Winnipeg, MB


*indicates by invitation


*In press. “The Continua of Sound Qualities for Tanya Tagaq’s Katajjaq Sounds.” In Trends in World Music Analysis, vol. 1. Edited by Noé Dinnerstein, Sam Mukherji and Lawrence Shuster. Routledge.


2016. “Minimalism Meets Gamelan: An Analysis of Diana Blom and Emma      Stacker’s Gong Agong (2006).” Malaysian Music Journal 4(2): 20–36.

Conference Presentations

“The Vocal Backbeat as a Text Painting Device in Recent Mainstream Country Music”

  • Society for Music Theory 2021Annual Meeting. Jacksonville, FL. November 4–7, 2021.


“Form as Timbre: Tracking the Form of Tanya Tagaq’s ‘Ilunikavi’ through Timbral Changes”

  •  2021 Canadian University Music Society (MusCan) Annual Conference/Congress 2021. University of Alberta. Online. May 31–June 4, 2021.


“The Acoustic Properties of Tanya Tagaq’s Vocal Sounds as Situated on Timbral Continua”

  • American Musicological Society/Society for Music Theory 2020. Online. November 7–15, 2020.


Roundtable: Analysis and Decolonization

  • 65th Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Online. October 22–31, 2020.


“A Set of Continua for the Acoustic Properties of Tanya Tagaq’s Katajjaq Sounds”

  • 31st Annual Conference of Music Theory Midwest. Online. June–September, 2020.
  • 2020 meeting of the Music Theory Society of New York State. Online. July–September, 2020.


“Phenomenal Accents, Meter, and the Vocal Backbeat in Country Music from 2000-2019”

  • 17th Annual Meeting of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic. Online. July 15–August 15, 2020.
  • College Music Society-Southern/South Central Society for Music Theory Joint Conference. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. February 28–March 1, 2020.


“Exploring Reconciliation in Canadian Art Music Featuring Tanya Tagaq”

  • 64th Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. November 7–10, 2019.
  • Transnationalism and Transculturalism in Canadian Music, 1969-2019. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON. September 27, 2019.


“Reconciliation in the Finale of Christos Hatzis’ Going Home Star (2014)”

  • 2018 College Music Society National Conference. Vancouver, BC. October 13, 2018.


“Moving Beyond Cultural Appropriation: Reconciliation in the Finale of Christos Hatzis’ Going Home Star (2014)”

  • Fifth International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music. Thessaloniki, Greece. June 27, 2018.


“It Ain’t Your Mama’s Country: Vocal Backbeat in Contemporary Country Music”

  • IASPM-US Conference: “Going to the Country: Pastoral-National-Musical.” Nashville, TN. March 9, 2018.


“Feeling the Backbeat: Vocal Backbeat in Contemporary Country Music”

  • Indiana University Annual Symposium of Research in Music. Bloomington, IN. February 24, 2018.


“Representations and Narratives of Stuttering in Popular Song from 1965 to Present”

  • Brandeis University Graduate Student Musicology Conference: {meaning and {music} and meaning}.  Waltham, MA. May 6, 2017.

“A Flexible Conception of Meter in Pacific Northwest Coast Aboriginal Music”

  • Fourth International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music. The New School, New York, NY. June 8–11, 2016 (poster).
  • Pacific Northwest Graduate Music Conference. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. February 22, 2015.
Higher-Ed Experience

MA in Liberal Studies Program, The Graduate Center, CUNY                    2021–present

Advising Fellow

  •           Provide individualized academic support to 100 master’s students in a variety of concentrations
  •        Tasks include guiding students in course selection, managing workloads and meeting academic challenges, and thesis/capstone planning, as well as developing workshops related to careers, networking, and writing


Hunter College, CUNY

Instructor of Record                                                                                             2017–present


  •   Music Theory Fundamentals
  •   Music Theory 1: Introduction to Part Writing and Counterpoint
  •   Music Theory 2: Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint
  •   Music Theory 3: Chromatic Harmony and Form
  •   Music Theory 4: Introduction to Post-tonal Music


  •    Teach core-music theory courses to music majors and non-music majors in class sizes of 15–30 students
  •      Responsible for all aspects of syllabus design, teaching, and grading
  •      Focus on including diverse musical examples and activity-based learning in every lesson


Music Department, The Graduate Center, CUNY                                             2020–2021

Senior Teaching Fellow        

  •       Mentor to second-year music graduate students in their first year of teaching at a CUNY college 
  •       Tasks include reviewing syllabi prior to first class, offering teaching advice, observing the teachers throughout the semester, and meeting with the teachers before and after each observation to discuss relevant pedagogical issues


University of British Columbia                                                                                          Tutor                                                                                                                    Summer 2015

Course: Music Fundamentals Preparatory Course (non-credit summer course)

  •        Tutored students individually in music theory and musicianship over Skype
  •        Planned and executed lesson materials based on the individual needs of the students


Teaching Assistant (grader)                                                                                     2013–2015

Courses: First Principles of Musical Form; Diatonic Harmony & Voice Leading

  •        Reviewed and marked assignments and exams; held office hours


Teaching Assistant (instructor)                                                                                          2014

Course: Musicianship I: Introduction to Aural Skills and Sight Singing

  •         Taught classes by following prescribed lesson plans and held office hours
  •         Administered and graded exams and performances

University of Manitoba                                                                                                  Teaching Assistant (grader)                                                                                     2009–2012

Courses: Music Theory 1–4 (Diatonic and Chromatic Harmony)

  •        Reviewed and marked assignments; conducted theory tutorials for small groups of students
  •       Guest lectured for Music Theory 2