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Anna Gawboy

Anna Gawboy (photo: S. Takacs)

Anna Gawboy

Associate Professor; Area Head of Musicology and Theory


N480 Timashev Building
1866 College Rd
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Analysis of musical multimedia and visualization
  • Musical esotericism and the avant garde
  • Music theory pedagogy


  • PhD, Yale University, 2010
  • MPhil, Yale University, 2007
  • MA, Yale University, 2007
  • MM, University of Oklahoma, 2001

Anna Gawboy’s work explores cultural history and multimedia, with a special focus on visualized music. She is internationally known for her collaboration with lighting designer Justin Townsend on their reconstruction of Alexander Scriabin's color symphony Prometheus, Poem of Fire, most recently performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Gawboy has also worked with Alex Oliszewski of Theatre and the Advanced Center for Computing and Design to create a live multimedia accompaniment to a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at The Ohio State University, and she consulted on Scriabin in the Himalayas, a multimedia tribute to the composer in Ladakh, India.

Gawboy has written about the English concertina as an instrument of acoustic science, synaesthesia and audiovisual media, esotericism and musical modernism, public music theory, and music theory pedagogy. She is the author of nearly 200 video tutorials in music theory, including those accompanying A Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony by Joe Straus and Poundie Burstein. She was a co-founding associate editor of SMT-V, the first videocast journal in music, as well as co-founding editor of Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy. She has served as president of Music Theory Midwest and on the Executive Board of the Society for Music Theory.


“Theosophy and Esoteric Musical Modernism.” In A Cultural History of Western Music, volume 6: Music in the Modern Age edited by Danielle Fosler-Lussier and William Cheng. London: Bloomsbury. Forthcoming, 2024.

“Theosophy and Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism.” Explorations in Music and Esotericism, edited by Marjorie Roth and Leonard George. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2023.

“Skryabin’s Synaesthesia: The Legend, the Evidence, and Its Implications for Performance.” In Demystifying Skryabin, edited by Vasilis Kallis and Kenneth Smith. London: Boydell and Brewer, 2022.

“Public Music Theory and the Land Grant Tradition in Columbus, Ohio.” In The Oxford Handbook of Public Music Theory edited by Daniel Jenkins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.


Alexander Scriabin, Prometheus, Poem of Fire, op. 60, with the Yale Symphony Orchestra

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