Gillian Robertson, a native of Ontario Canada, joined the College of Music as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory in the fall of 2017. She holds a Ph.D. in music theory from Florida State University (2015) where she studied with Drs. Joseph Kraus and Matthew Shaftel. She was the recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) while completing her M.A. in Music Theory at the University of Western Ontario. Gillian received her Bachelor of Music (Honors Theory with Distinction) from Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada).
Her dissertation, “Variations on a Theme by Paganini: Narrative Archetypes in Nineteenth-and Twentieth-Century Theme-and-Variation Sets,” explored the applicability of large-scale narrative trajectories in a genre that is traditionally viewed from a sectionalized perspective. Her methodological approach engaged narrative theory, Schenkerian analysis, topic theory, musical agency, musical borrowing, voice-leading, and conceptual models to approach the music of Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Rochberg. She is also interested in nineteenth-century chromatic harmony, nostalgia in music, musical meaning, and the music of Rachmaninoff. Gillian has presented her research at various conferences throughout the United States including Florida State University’s Music Theory Forum, the regional meetings of Music Theory Southeast and the Texas Society for Music Theory, and the national meeting of the Society for Music Theory.
Prior to her teaching appointment at UNT, Gillian held a Visiting Faculty position at Humboldt State University (Arcata, CA) and a Lecturer of Music Theory/Ear Training position at Texas A&M University–Kingsville. While studying at FSU, Gillian taught all of the core curriculum music theory and aural skills courses as an Instructor of Record. Gillian currently teaches Theory III and Theory IV classes in addition to Special Problems courses addressing musical meaning.