Michael J. Masci

Associate Professor of Music
Brodie Hall 121
(585) 245-5563

Michael Masci teaches courses in harmony, music theory and analysis, music criticism, and tonal composition. His research interests include the aesthetics of modernism, particularly in France, and the history of music theory. He is the author of Catel's Treatise on Harmony, a critical history of the harmony course at the early Paris Conservatory. His current projects include a textbook and abridged translation of Henri Reber's Treatise on Harmony and a one-act opera based on the short story "Dr. Woolacott" by EM Forster.


 Claude Debussy
 EM Forster
 Catel's Treatise on Harmony

Curriculum Vitae 


Ph.D.,  Music Theory, University of Pennsylvania
B.A.,    Music, Connecticut College

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Music, SUNY Geneseo 
Assistant Professor, Music, SUNY Geneseo 
Visiting Assistant Professor, Music, SUNY Geneseo
Visiting Assistant Professor, Music, Williams College
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Critical Writing Program, University of Pennsylvania 


Charles-Simon Catel's Treatise on Harmony and the Disciplining of Harmony at the Early Paris Conservatory. Lexington, 2023.

“Reconstructing Victor Dourlen’s ‘Cours d’harmonie’ of 1812-1813.” Music Theory Online 24.4.4, 2022.

“Three Lessons in Harmony: A View from the 19th-Century Conservatoire.” The Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 28, 2015; 97-139.

“Harmony as Practica: The Relationship of Tonal Theory to the Practical Study of Harmony Reconsidered.” Theoria 20, 2014; 5-38.

Courses Taught

  • The Modern Soundscape (First-Year Writing Seminar)
  • The Modern Listener in Paris (Honors Seminar)
  • Elements of Music Theory
  • Elements of Diatonic Harmony & Polyphony
  • Elements of Chromatic Harmony
  • Elements of Jazz Harmony
  • Elements of Figured Bass
  • Elements of Orchestration
  • Contemporary Harmony for Composition
  • Contemporary Counterpoint for Composition
  • Thinking through Music II: Aesthetics and Criticism of Modernism