Brad Osborn is Assistant Professor of music theory at the University of Kansas. He is the author of the monograph Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead (Oxford University Press, 2016). Adapting a psychology-based approach known as ecological perception, the book demonstrates how Radiohead’s music means what it does to listeners with varying degrees of prior experiences in common practice tonal music and post-millennial rock.
Brad's other research on post-millennial rock music is published in top music theoretical journals. He has been invited to speak at numerous international and national conferences, and to share his teaching and research through invited colloquia in various conservatories and schools of music.
Brad's contributions to scholarship on teaching include numerous videos, guest lectures, and short essays through the KU Center for Teaching Excellence. He is also a contributing author to the 3rd edition of The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis (Norton), a textbook for which he has filmed instructional videos to support the chapters. Brad also has an essay on how to include popular music in the undergraduate theory curriculum, which appears in The Norton Guide to Teaching Music Theory (W.W. Norton, 2017).
Prior to joining the faculty at KU, he taught at Ohio University, DePauw University, and Rhodes College.He is active in the Society for Music Theory, having previously served on the Committee for the Status of Women and as the past Chair of the Popular Music Interest Group. Brad currently serves the society on the editorial board of the journal Music Theory Online.
Active as a rock multi-instrumentalist (drums, guitars, voice, keyboards), Brad writes and records music under the artist moniker D'Archipelago—a “band” composed entirely of him overdubbing all of the vocal and instrumental tracks. An avid outdoorsman, Brad enjoys backpacking and rock climbing in the Ozark Mountains (where he grew up), and is proud to count Iceland’s southern coast, the Isle of Man, Smith Rock, and the Red River Gorge among his favorite backpacking and climbing destinations.
Ph.D., Music Theory, University of Washington
M.M., Music Theory, Florida State University
B.S., Music Education, Missouri State University
- Music theory
- Rock music
- Graduate studies
- Post-millennial rock music
- Rhythm and meter
Osborn, B. (in press). Pop-Rock Pedagogy: Composition, Performance, Transcription, and Analysis in the Undergraduate Theory Core . In R. Lumsden (Ed.), The Norton Guide to Teaching Music Theory. W.W. Norton.
Osborn, B. (in press). Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman (for Massenet)” . In B. Ravenscroft (Ed.), Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers, Vol. 4. Oxford University Press.
Osborn, B. & Osborn, K. (in press). The Production of Timbre: Analyzing the Sonic Signatures of Tool’s Ænima (1996) . In C. Scotto (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches. Routledge.
Osborn, B. (2017). "Rock Harmony Reconsidered: Tonal, Modal, and Contrapuntal Voice-Leading in Radiohead". Music Analysis. DOI:10.1111/musa.12085
Osborn, B. & Blake, D. K. (2017). "Triangulating Timbre in Sigur Rós's Iceland" . In T. Mitchell & N. Dibben (Eds.), *Sounds Icelandic* (Equinox Press). https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/icelandic-soundings-tony-mithcell-nicola-dibben-thorbjorg-daphne-hall-arni-heimir-ingolfsson/
Osborn, B. (2016). Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead, Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/everything-in-its-right-place-9780190629236?q=osborn&lang=en&cc=us
Osborn, B. Azevedo, C. Fuller, C. Guerrero, J. & Kaler, M. (2015). P.J. Harvey's 'The Words that Maketh Murder'. In A. Moore, R. V. Appen, A. Doehring, & D. Helms (Eds.), Song Interpretation in 21st-Century Pop Music. Ashgate Press.
Osborn, B. (2014). "Kid Algebra: Radiohead's Euclidean and Maximally Even Rhythms". Perspectives of New Music, 52(1).
Osborn, B. (2014). "Brad Osborn Responds" (to a letter to the editor RE: my article in the same journal a year ago) . Music Theory Spectrum, 36(1).
Osborn, B. (2013). Hearing Heima: Ecological Approaches to Meaning in Three Icelandic Music Videos. In J. Boss, B. Osborn, T. Pack, & S. Rodgers (Eds.), Analyzing the Music of Living Composers (and Others). Cambridge Scholars Press.
Osborn, B., Boss, J., Pack, T., & Rodgers, S. (Eds.). (2013). Analyzing the Music of Living Composers (and Others) (B. Osborn, J. Boss, T. Pack, & S. Rodgers, Eds.). Cambridge Scholars Press.
Osborn, B. (2013). Subverting the Verse/Chorus Paradigm: Terminally Climactic Forms in Recent Rock Music. Music Theory Spectrum, 35(1).
Osborn, B. (2011). Understanding Through-Composition in Post-Rock, Math-Metal, and other Post-Millennial Rock Genres. Music Theory Online, 17(3).
Osborn, B. (2011). A Pragmatic Deleuzo-Guattarian Musicology in special issue "Deleuze et la musique". Filigrane: Musique, Esthétique, Sciences, Société, 13( ).
Osborn, B. (2010). Beats that Commute: Algebraic and Kinesthetic Models for Math Rock Grooves. Gamut, 3( 1).
Osborn, B. . (12/31/2017). Longing, and the Subdominant Tritone in Film and Television. Joint Meeting of the Musicological Societies of Australia and New Zealand. Auckland, NZ
Osborn, B. . (09/30/2017). Who Grooves to What?: Differences in Guitarists' and Drummers' Metric Entrainment. University of British Colombia Rhythm Colloquium. Vancouver, CA
Osborn, B. . (06/30/2017). 1991 and all that Grunge. International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). Kassel, Germany