Toru Momii (he/him) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His research focuses on interculturality in twenty-first century music, the politics of knowledge production in music theory, performance analysis, gagaku, and popular music in the United States and Japan. His work on gesture and tonality in shō performance appears in Music Theory Online. He has presented his research at the annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society, and the Society for Ethnomusicology; the Congress of the International Musicological Society; and Analytical Approaches to World Music. His research has been awarded the SMT-40 Dissertation Fellowship by the Society for Music Theory and the Junior Fellowship in Japan Studies from the Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

Toru currently serves as a faculty affiliate of Project Spectrum, a coalition of graduate students of color committed to addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in music academia. He is also a co-founder of the Engaged Music Theory Working Group, a group of junior scholars committed to cultivating inclusive research, teaching, and service in music theory.

Toru received a Ph.D. in music theory from Columbia University, an M.A. in music theory from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, and an B.A. in music and economics from Vassar College (Phi Beta Kappa). Prior to pursuing academic research, he worked in the investment banking industry in Tokyo, Japan.


Ph.D. Columbia University, Music Theory (2021)
Dissertation: “Music Analysis and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Interculturality in the Music of Honjoh Hidejirō, Miyata Mayumi, and Mitski”

M.A. Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Music Theory (2015)

B.A. Vassar College, Music and Economics (2011)

Other Publications

“A Transformational Approach to Gesture in Shō Performance.” Music Theory Online 26/4. https://mtosmt.org/issues/mto.20.26.4/mto.20.26.4.momii.html.

“Toward a Performance-based Analysis for the Shō.” SMT Performance and Analysis Interest Group Blog. October 25, 2019. https://smtpaig.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/toward-a-performance-based-analysis-for-the-sho/

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