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Philip Ewell
Position: Associate Professor of Music Theory, Hunter College and the Graduate Center
Campus Affiliation: Hunter College
Phone: 212-396-6253
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. Yale
Research Interests: Modernist Russian music and music theory
Philip Ewell’s specialties include Russian music and music theory, twentieth-century music, twentieth-century modal theory, and rap and hiphop music. He has writings published in Music Theory Online, Indiana Theory Review, Journal of Schenkerian Studies, and Popular Music, among other journals. He was the founding editor of Gamut, the online journal of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic, and served as the chair of the Committee on Diversity of the Society for Music Theory from 2007 to 2010. In addition to his North American appearances, Philip has given papers at international conferences in Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Philip’s recent research focuses on Russian interpretations of modernist composers such as Stravinsky and Webern. Specifically, he has worked on the modal theories of Boleslav Yavorsky, whose work is widespread in Russia and can be applied to many different types of late-romantic and post-tonal tertian music. Philip has worked with the voluminous writings of brother and sister Yuri Kholopov and Valentina Kholopova, and has presented their work at conferences and in English translation. Currently, he is working with Russian structural and modal analyses of Chopin.

For more about Philip visit


“Russian Rap in the Era of Vladimir Putin.”  In the edited volume Hip-hop from the East of Europe (forthcoming 2014).

“Octatonic or Diminished?: Russian Modal Interpretations of Stravinsky from an American Perspective.”  Proceedings of the international conference “Rethinking Stravinsky: Sounds and Gestures of Modernism” (forthcoming 2014).

Review of Analyzing Atonal Music, by Michiel Schuijer.  Review/essay.  Submitted August 2012, forthcoming in Vol. 37 of Theory & Practice, fall 2013.

 “‘On the System of Stravinsky’s Harmony,’ by Yuri Kholopov: Translation and Commentary.”  Music Theory Online (forthcoming in vol. 19.2, fall 2013).

“Rethinking Octatonicism: Views from Stravinsky’s Homeland.”  Music Theory Online 18.4.2 (2012).

“Rap and Rappers.”  Invited author for ABC-CLIO’s Encyclopedia of American Music and Culture, in 4 vols.  In press, c. 5500 words, publication forthcoming.

Kaleidoscope of Cultures: A Celebration of Multicultural Research and Practice.” Edited by Marvelene Moore and Philip Ewell. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

 “Russia’s New Grove: Priceless Resource or Propagandistic Rubbish?”  RILM Perspectives Series (2008): 659-670.

“Stravinsky’s Harmony, in Context.”  In Musiktheorie im Kontext, edited by Jan Philipp Sprick, Reinhard Bahr, and Michael von Troschke, 215-26.  Berlin: Weidler Buchverlag, 2008.

“Anton Rubinstein, Alexander Serov, and Vladimir Stasov: The Struggle for a National Musical Identity in Nineteenth-Century Russia.”  Germano-Slavica XVI (2007): 41-55.

“Scriabin and the Harmony of the 20th Century.”  Annotated translation of article by Yuri Kholopov.  Journal of the Scriabin Society of America 11/1 (Winter 2006-2007): 12-27.

Review of Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop, by Joseph Schloss.  Popular Music 25/1 (2006): 138-40.

 “Scriabin’s Dominant: The Evolution of a Harmonic Style.”  The Journal of Schenkerian Studies 1 (2006): 118-48.

“Scriabin’s Seventh Piano Sonata: Three Analytical Approaches.”  Indiana Theory Review 23 (Spring/fall 2002): 23-67.