Laura Emmery

Assistant Professor, Music Theory

Office: BRB 334

Phone: (404) 727-3835

Fax: (404) 727-0074







PhD, 2014, University of California, Santa Barbara

MM, New England Conservatory

BM, California State University Northridge


Laura Emmery’s research focuses on American modernist composers. Her dissertation on Elliott Carter’s string quartets incorporates sketch study in tracking the composer’s evolution and process.  Receiving the Paul Sacher Stiftung Scholarship, Dr. Emmery spent eight months in Basel conducting a critical study of the original sources. She is also the recipient of numerous other fellowships and honors, including the UCSB Affiliates Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant, Albert and Elaine Borchard European Studies Fellowship, and the Roger Chapman Award in Music Theory. 

Dr. Emmery presented her work in national and international conferences, including SMT, MTSNYS, WCCMTA, EUROMac, Tracking the Creative Process in Music, The Paul Sacher Stiftung Colloquium, Cardiff University Conference on Sacher Perspectives, German Society for Music Theory, International Musicological Society, CSU Long Beach Conference on Temporality: Issues of Change and Stasis in Music, SUNY Buffalo Music Lecture Series, UC Santa Barbara Musicology/Theory and Composition forums, and at Chestnut Hill College.

Dr. Emmery teaches music theory classes, with specialization in twentieth-century analytical techniques. Before coming to Emory University, Dr. Emmery was an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Arizona State University, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Emory University, and Associate Instructor of Record at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Dr. Emmery is also an active pianist, having completed conservatory training in piano performance. She was a featured soloist with the El Camino College Symphony, a selected participant in master classes with André Watts and Santiago Rodriguez, and has performed with numerous chamber groups and ensembles. 


“Elliott Carter’s First String Quartet: In Search of Proustian Time.” The Musical Quarterly, forthcoming

"Evolution of Compositional Style in Elliott Carter’s Early String Quartets.” Contemporary Music Review, forthcoming

 “Repetition and Formal Destruction in Popular Music: A Case Study in Death Cab for Cutie,” GMTH-Kongressbericht 2015, Verlag Olms publishing, forthcoming

“In Disguise: Musical Borrowings in Elliott Carter’s Early String Quartets,” in Form and Process in Music, 1300-2014: An Analytical Sampler. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, January 2016.

“Space as a Compositional Determinant in Elliott Carter’s Third String Quartet.” Sonus 36/1 (Fall 2015).

 “Elliott Carter Studies.” Review.  Twentieth-Century Music 10/2 (Sept. 2013): 304 – 310.

 “Rhythmic Process in Elliott Carter’s Fourth String Quartet.” Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung 26 (Apr. 2013): 29-33.

 “An American Modernist: Teatime with Elliott Carter.” Tempo 67/264 (Apr. 2013): 22–29.

 “Connecting the Dots: Compositional Process in Elliott Carter’s Fourth String Quartet,” pending acceptance.

 “Elliott Carter's and Luigi Nono's Analyses of Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31: Divergent Approaches to Serialism,” under review.

 A Study in Sketches: Historical Evolution and Compositional Process in Elliott Carter’s String Quartets, monograph under review.