Congratulations to IU Music Theory alumnus Mitch Ohriner (PhD 2011), who won a 2022 Wallace Berry Award for his book Flow: The Rhythmic Voice in Rap Music (OUP, 2019). Presented each year by the Society for Music Theory, the award is given for a “distinguished book by an author of any age or career stage.”
While scholarship on hip hop and rap music has grown significantly in the past several years, Ohriner’s book is one of the first to explore the fundamental and expressive musical choices made by hip hop artists, namely the “flow” or rhythm of the rapping voice. In his book, Ohriner introduces us to his method of analysis, oscillating between computational music analysis and humanistic close reading — methods that will certainly prove useful in other musical genres as well. To learn more, visit the OUP companion website, which includes audio, visual examples, and links to additional resources.
Ohriner is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music and is editor of Music Theory Online. He has earned degrees in music composition and music theory from the University of Colorado and Indiana University. His research interests focus on rap music, rhythm, expressive timing, and computational music analysis. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.
We also congratulate Gabriel Lubell (DM Composition, 2013), who received an honorable mention in SMT’s new Diversity Course Design award, which aims to “honor an outstanding undergraduate syllabus that promotes diversity in music theory.” Gabe, who also organized and gave a paper at a session in New Orleans entitled “Sound, Infrastructure and Lived Experience,” currently teaches in the Music in General Studies program at the Jacobs School. His SMT submission was based on his Z211 Music Theory II class for MGS.
Gabe was an AI for the theory department during his degree time at IU, and we’ve been lucky to have him as an instructor in the theory department on several additional occasions since then.
Congratulations to you both!