Princeton University

  • Ph.D., Music (Musicology)
  • M.A., Music

Temple University

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

Research Areas

Intellectual history, music analysis, philosophical hermeneutics, musical autonomy, topic theory, early 20-C French and American art music, jazz


Dylan is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. He previously served as lecturer and Postgraduate Research Associate at Princeton University. As a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton, Dylan taught music history and theory at The College of New Jersey and Temple University while coordinating the music theory curriculum for the Temple University Music Preparatory, which makes music instruction accessible to Philadelphia youth.

Dylan’s research explores how the intellectual history of music has been shaped by the belief that music is intrinsically special. His publication projects trace this way of thinking, called “musical exceptionalism,” as it touches numerous areas of musical thought—including music analysis, jazz aesthetics, philosophies of interpretation, ineffability, immediacy, and sound studies. Dylan’s book project, which is currently under contract with The University of California Press, offers a critical history of topic theory to examine how the ages-old idea of absolute music continues to shape theories of musical meaning.

Dylan’s analytical projects focus on extended tonality in the music of Les Six and computational analysis in mid-century bebop improvisations. His work has appeared in 19th-Century Music, Music Theory Online, and at conferences across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Serbia, and Greece, including the American Musicological Society, the Society for Music Theory, the International Musicological Society, the Philosophy Study Group of the Royal Musical Association, IRCAM (Paris), and the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic.

As a mutiple woodwind performer, Dylan has played saxophones, flutes, and clarinets with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, the Philly Singers, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, at the Walnut Street, Media, and Horizon Theatres, and on the PBS television show Articulate!.