Metal Mayhem to Music Theory: The Use of Heavy Metal Music in Collegiate Music Theory Instruction
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. David Loberg Code
Dr. Lauron Kehrer
Dr. Richard Adams
Dr. Cristina Fava
Heavy, metal, music, theory, instruction
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Bernath, Weston Michael-Andrew, "Metal Mayhem to Music Theory: The Use of Heavy Metal Music in Collegiate Music Theory Instruction" (2020). Masters Theses. 5145.
Heavy metal music is excluded from the common music theory textbooks used in the current undergraduate basic musicianship sequence. Metal is a genre of music designed as scary music that is heavy sonically. Metal is valuable as a tool for the preponderance of social issues and advocacy for social and environmental justice. Its compositional content samples across the common practice period through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In addition to providing enhanced perception and clarity in lecture examples, metal provides performance practice elements and metal-specific aesthetic characteristics that add new theoretical studies to the standard theory curriculum. Metal challenges students to consider contemporary music analysis techniques based on timbre, texture, orchestration and non-traditional performance methods that span the spectrum from popular to art music. A series of lessons derived from the learning objectives within the common music theory course curriculum has been created for reference and example.