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Adem M. Birson

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music


PHD, 2015, Cornell Univ; MA, 2008, CUNY Queens Coll; BA, 2006, CUNY Queens Coll


Adem Merter Birson is a musicologist/music theorist specializing in eighteenth-century Western art music and classical Turkish music. His primary research deals with the relationship between chromaticism and form in the string quartets of Joseph Haydn, and his work has been published in HAYDN: Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America (2014). A dedicated teacher, Dr. Birson has published on the use of historical style composition in the music theory classroom in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy Online (2017) and he is the recipient of the Graduate Teaching as Research/Teagle Fellowship from the Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence (2012-13).

Dr. Birson's research on classical Turkish music deals with identity, modality (makam), and religious mysticism in the Ottoman tradition. He is the recipient of such grants as the Critical Language Scholarship (US Department of State) and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Mario Einaudi Center for European Studies). He has presented on modal theory at the annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology and Society for Music Theory and has published in Rast Journal of Musicology (2016). As a performer of the Turkish lute (oud), Dr. Birson has studied with masters like Necati Çelik, Sedat Oytun, Yurdal Tokcan, and Alper Karaağaçlı.

Adem Merter Birson is a graduate of Cornell University (Ph.D. in Musicology, '15) and the Aaron Copland School of Music at CUNY Queens College (M.A. in Music '08; B.A. in Music '06). He has recently worked as Assistant Professor/Director of the Conservatory at Ipek University, in Ankara, Turkey. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Hofstra University, in Long Island, New York.

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