Faculty, Assistant Professor of Music Theory
PhD, Musicology, Princeton University
MFA, Musicology, Princeton University
BM, Vanderbilt University
Johanna Frymoyer is an Assistant Professor of Music Theory whose research interests explore questions of musical meaning through the lenses of semiotics, narrative theory, and cognitive linguistics with emphasis on the music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky. She earned her Ph.D. and M.F.A. in musicology from Princeton University and her B.M., majoring in violin and German studies, from Vanderbilt University.
Frymoyer’s research lies at the intersection of musicology and music theory, and her hermeneutic approach seeks to bridge cultural studies and works-centered analysis, particularly through the lens of topic theory. Frymoyer’s current book project, tentatively titled Topics, Markedness, and Modernism, explores the cognitive range of eighteenth-century topics (conventional gestures and signs such as dance rhythms, horn calls, etc.) in the early twentieth century. Using themes from markedness oppositionality, conceptual metaphor, and narrative theory, the book seeks to challenge traditional interpretations of topical conventions in modernism as ironic or disruptive, proposing instead new strategies for topical play and formal interaction. Her doctoral research refined the definition, stylistic constraints, analytic applications, and interpretation of musical texture in early twentieth-century music. She has published in Music Theory Spectrum and has forthcoming articles in The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia and The Routledge Handbook of Music Signification.
Frymoyer has presented her research at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory and the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society and internationally at the Institute for Russian Music Studies in Vipiteno, Italy (2018), the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference held at the University of Maynooth (2018), the Biennial Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music held at the University of Southampton (2010), and Sound Moves: A Conference on Music and Dance at the University of Roehampton (2005). She currently serves on the editorial board of Music Theory Online.
Prior to joining Notre Dame, Frymoyer held appointments at New York University, Indiana University, and the University of Denver.