Princeton University

  • Ph.D., Music (defense passed 10/27/2022)
  • M.A., Music

Temple University

  • M.Mus., Music Theory
  • B.Mus., Education and Jazz Studies, Honors Program

Research Areas

Intellectual history of music, music analysis, hermeneutic philosophy, Continental epistemology, musical autonomy, topic theory, early 20-C French and American art music, jazz


Dylan is a Postgraduate Research Associate in the Department of Music at Princeton University. He also teaches at The College of New Jersey, the Boyer College of Music and Dance, and coordinates music theory classes for the Temple University Music Preparatory, which makes high-quality music instruction accessible to Philadelphia youth.

Dylan’s research is published in 19th-Century Music and has been accepted to conferences across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Serbia, and Greece, including to the American Musicological Society (twice), the Society for Music Theory (twice), the International Musicological Society, the Philosophy Study Group of the Royal Musical Association, IRCAM (Paris), and the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic. While his musicological writings engage questions about musical knowledge, Dylan’s analytical projects concern extended tonality in the music of “Les Six” as well as voice leading and motives in bebop improvisations.

The title of Dylan’s dissertation is “Historicizing Topic Theory: Toward an Anti-Philosophy of Absolute Music.” The project joins two histories together: on one hand, the evolution of the idea of absolute music, and on the other, an account of how topic theory became a subdiscipline of music analysis. By drawing from Alain Badiou’s seminars on the history of philosophy, Dylan argues that topic theory arose as a response to the “New Musicology,” which was a disciplinary moment that aimed to deconstruct the ancient conception of music as an exceptionally autonomous form of art. If true, this continuity suggests that the field of musical interpretation is still grappling with aesthetic and conceptual problems posed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

As an avid woodwind specialist, Dylan has performed on saxophones, flutes, and clarinets with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, the Philly Singers, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, at the Walnut Street, Media, and Horizon Theatres, and on the PBS television show Articulate! He has studied saxophone with Dick Oatts, Matt Levy, and Frank Mazzeo, and flute with Jayn Rosenfeld.