Ted Buehrer's specialties lie in the areas of music theory and theory pedagogy, jazz studies, composition, and music technology. In addition to his classroom teaching, Professor Buehrer also directs the Kenyon Jazz Ensemble, leading them in regional, national, and international performances (including festival performances in Chicago, New Orleans, and Lima, Peru in recent years). The ensemble recorded its first album in 2014. His work in music technology played an important role in the design and establishment of the music department's Music Computer Classroom.

Much of Professor Buehrer’s recent professional activity outside the classroom has been as a performing musician. In 2017, he founded the Knox Community Jazz Orchestra, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) arts organization. This 18-piece big band, in which he serves as musical director and as a trumpet player, gives several performances in the region each year. His newest venture, Fat Tuesday, is a five-piece jazz combo inspired by the music of New Orleans that played regional summer concerts and series to strong reviews. Professor Buehrer has performed with additional groups Padula Oblongata, Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, as well as with the Kenyon Jazz Ensemble and the Kenyon Jazz Faculty Combo. 

Professor Buehrer is engaged as a researcher. Sabbatical projects during the 2014-15 academic year included work on a jazz theory and arranging textbook which he uses in his class. In 2013, he published a critical edition of works by jazz pianist, arranger and composer Mary Lou Williams (Mary Lou Williams: Selected Works for Big Band, Music of the United States of America vol. 25, A-R Editions). In 2009-10, he edited three additional works by Williams for the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington library of performance editions. In conjunction with this work, in 2010 Buehrer served as a judge for the final round of the Essentially Ellington high school jazz competition in New York alongside Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, David Berger and Rodney Whitaker. His audiobook, How to Listen to and Appreciate Jazz, was published in 2006. He has also been published in the Indiana Theory Review and the Annual Review of Jazz Studies and has presented research at the national meetings of the Society for Music Theory and the International Association for Jazz Education. He was a 2006-2007 Fellow at the National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park, NC) and was the 2002-2003 recipient of the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation's Whiting Teaching Fellowship.

As a composer and arranger, Professor Buehrer has prepared numerous works for the jazz ensemble and has been published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. Additionally, he has collaborated with students and faculty in the Dance and Drama department, composing music for a short film and a piece choreographed for a Kenyon Dance Concert. He has also written a commissioned work for the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association that was premiered at their annual conference.

Areas of Expertise

Music theory, jazz studies, composition, music technology.

Education

2000 — Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana Univ Bloomington

1993 — Master of Music from Indiana Univ Bloomington

1991 — Bachelor of Arts from Kenyon College, Phi Beta Kappa

Courses Recently Taught

This course offers a basic investigation of traditional music theory. The first semester, MUSC 121Y, will focus on diatonic harmony. Emphasis will be on writing skills and visual/aural analyses of musical scores. Also included will be an in-depth study of the parameters of music and how these parameters function within a composition. This course takes a holistic approach to style and compares elements of music with similar principles in the other arts. Student work will include short composition projects. MUSC 102, 105 or 107, which can be taken concurrently with this course, are recommended, however students can take only one of the introductory courses. This counts toward the theory requirement for the major and minor. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to MUSC 122Y for the spring semester. Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or placement by exam. Offered each fall.

MUSC 122Y will cover extended chromatic harmony. Emphasis will be on writing skills and visual/aural analyses of musical scores. Also included will be an in-depth study of the parameters of music and how these parameters function within a composition. This course takes a holistic approach to style and compares elements of music with similar principles in the other arts. Student work will include short composition projects. MUSC 102, 105 or 107, which can be taken concurrently with this course, are recommended, however students can take only one of the introductory courses. This counts toward the theory requirement for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 101 or placement. Offered each fall.

This course begins with a study of the compositional techniques and style of late Baroque contrapuntal forms and procedures, and continues with a study of small and large forms used in tonal music, including binary/ternary, strophic, through-composed, rondo, variations (continuous and sectional), sonata-allegro, and sonata-rondo, and contemporary popular song forms. Concurrent to this study of musical forms will be an investigation into the compositional applications of common-practice harmony and its extensions in contemporary popular genres. Students will engage these topics through detailed study of existing pieces, the application of common analytical techniques, and composition. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: one of MUSC 102, 105 or 107 (may be taken concurrently), plus 122Y. Offered every other year.

This course provides an intensive study of post-tonal compositional techniques and systems, emphasizing visual and aural analyses of musical scores and recordings, featuring a wide range of musical forms and compositional techniques from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will engage with this music through detailed study of existing pieces, the application of relevant analytical techniques, and composition. Students will learn how to transform their intuitions about post-tonal composition into organized arguments about it, and develop their analytical writing and presentational skills. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: one of MUSC 102, 105 or 107 (may be taken concurrently), plus 122Y. Offered every other year.

In this course, students will study the basics of jazz nomenclature, harmony and voice-leading and their application to writing arrangements for instrumental jazz combos of up to five horns and rhythm section or vocal jazz ensembles. Rhythmic, formal, textural and other parameters will be studied as well, and comparisons will be made to Western "classical" theoretical conventions to highlight similarities and differences between the two genres. Students will learn to write idiomatically for common jazz instruments and will study appropriate recorded examples. In addition, the course includes an ear-training component, and students will frequently be expected to practice theoretical concepts on their instruments. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Prerequisite: MUSC 122Y. Offered every two to three years.

Properly defined, entrepreneurship lies at the heart of the liberal arts experience. Students in the liberal arts are ideally situated to apply their broad interdisciplinary knowledge and skill sets to find new solutions to unsolved problems. In the arts generally, and music specifically, entrepreneurial thinking means applying creative problem-solving to find ways to engage audiences and broaden appeal in a culture in which people’s access to and desire for music in their daily lives is at an all-time high. How do we as musicians bring those audiences in? This course is part of a broader effort (spearheaded by the GLCA's DePauw University) to transform the ways in which we prepare 21st-century musicians by cultivating the creative and imaginative powers that reside at the heart of the artist-entrepreneur. It is designed to equip the next generation of arts leaders to build a more promising future. Through lectures, readings, videos, class visits (in-person and virtual) from Kenyon alums and others who are finding success, and project creation and implementation, students will identify and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills vital to succeeding as music entrepreneurs, arts administrators and community catalysts in an increasingly complex creative ecology. The course is twofold, offering a foundational knowledge base in concepts and experiential learning through project design and implementation. This counts as an elective for the major and minor. Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every two to three years.

This course offers study of improvisational techniques, jazz and jazz fusion from the early 1900s to the present. Application is toward individual style and ensemble performance. Work will include reading of lead sheets, transposition and playing by ear. One or two concerts per semester will be given, with the strong possibility of other performance opportunities and possible inclusion of original works. This is not a yearlong course and registration is required each semester. Permission of instructor required. No prerequisite.

Individual study is available to junior or senior music majors wishing to explore, with a music department faculty member, a topic not normally offered in the curriculum. The student proposes the topic to the faculty member, who then brings the proposal before the department for approval. The department will discuss the feasibility of any proposal. Individual studies supplement the music curriculum and may not be used to satisfy major requirements. Individual studies will earn either 0.25 or 0.50 units. After identifying a faculty member willing to oversee the individual study, the student should work with that professor to develop a short (one-page) proposal that will be shared with the department for approval. The proposal should articulate the nature of the proposed study; present planned readings, assignments and other work; and describe how or what in the proposed study will be assessed at the end of the semester. Meeting schedules may vary, but at a minimum the department expects that students will meet once per week with the faculty member. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the established deadline.