Prof. David S. Lefkowitz is currently Chair of the Composition and Music Theory Division of the UCLA Department of Music. He teaches the following courses on a regular basis:


Music 20ABC

First year music theory, covering fundamentals, species counterpoint, triads and seventh chords, Roman and Arabic numerals and chord function labels, harmonic syntax, voice-leading, keyboard and chorale spacing and part writing, modulation and tonicization, secondary and tertiary dominants, basics of form, sonata form, fugue, canon, invertible counterpoint, hypermeter, modes of analysis, introduction to Schenkerian analysis.

Music 120ABC

Second year music theory, covering advanced chromatic harmony (Neapolitans, Augmented Sixth Chords, altered chords, enharmonicism, fully-diminished and half-diminished seventh chords), tall chords, advanced tonal forms including sonata rondo and advanced sonata forms, the dissolution of tonality, symmetrical and non-traditional scales and modes, 20th-century harmony, set theory, 20th-century form, serialism, 20th-century rhythm and meter, and other advanced topics in 20th-century music theory.

Music 106AB, Music 124ABC: Basic Orchestration, and writing for symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, and choir.

Music 123ABC: Individual tutorials in composition.


Music 255: Analysis of Tonal Music, including all different modes of analysis for tonal music.

Music 256: Analysis of Post-Tonal Music, including all different modes of analysis for post-tonal music.

Music 251: Advanced Orchestration

Music 252: Individual tutorials in composition

Music Theory

Prof. David S. Lefkowitz is active in the field of music theory, specializing in analysis of early-20th-century music of Schoenberg and Berg, and contemporary extensions of set theory. In addition to the articles listed below, he is currently completing work on two music theory textbooks: Music Theory: Syntax, Function, and Form on tonal harmony, and Analysis of Post-Tonal Music: A Parametric Approach. The former is notable for its application of a functional (chord function — syntactical function) approach to tonal harmony; the latter is notable for its approach to all different parameters of 20th- and 21st-century harmony.


“The Inequality Factor: Skewness and Kurtosis as a Measure of Set-Class Cohesion,” with Kristin S. Taavola. Journal of Mathematics & Music, 7/3: 213-234 (November, 2013). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17459737.2013.854848.

“If, On the Ides of June…,” a composition for solo violin. Journal of Mathematics & Music, 7/3: 213-234 (November, 2013). http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17459737.2013.854848.

“Segmentation in Music: Generalizing a Piece-Sensitive Approach,” with Kristin S. Taavola, Journal of Music Theory, 44/1:171-230 (Spring, 2000). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/3090673.

“Schoenberg and His Op. 23 No. 4: a Functional Analysis,” Music Analysis, 18/3:375-380 (October, 1999). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/854451.

“The Composer as a Jew: an Homage,” Music Analysis, 18/3:381-385 (October, 1999). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/854452.

“Listening Strategies and Hexachordal Combinatorial ‘Functions’ in Schoenberg’s Opus 23 Number 4,” Music Analysis, 16/3:309-348 (October, 1997). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/854402.

“Perspectives on Order, Disorder, Combinatoriality, and Tonality in Schoenberg’s Opus 33a and 33b Piano Pieces” Integral, 11/1-68 (1997). http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/40213974.