Leigh VanHandel Associate Professor of Music Theory


  • Music Theory

415 Music Practice Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 353-2943

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Leigh VanHandel is associate professor of music theory and area chair of music theory at the Michigan State University College of Music.

She received a Bachelor of Music from the Ohio State University, a Master of Music from SUNY Stony Brook, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Stanford University. Her dissertation was titled "Setting a Menu to Music: Prosody and Melody in 19th-century Art Song," and was a quantitative study of the relationship between speech intonation and rhythm patterns in spoken German and French and the melody and rhythm of art songs written to texts in those languages. She previously taught at the University of Oregon and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Her research interests include the relationship between music and language, computer-assisted music research, music perception and cognition, and how music cognition can affect music theory pedagogy. 

She has presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences and has been published in such journals as Music Perception, the Journal of New Music Research, and Empirical Musicology Review.