Lecturer (Popular Music, Theory)

John Brackett (Lecturer) holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D., M.A.) and Ithaca College (B.Mus.). Before returning to UNC Chapel Hill in 2010, he was an Assistant Professor and head of the music theory area at the University of Utah where he taught theory and ear training courses throughout the entire undergraduate and graduate curriculum. Brackett’s research interests include the early history of twelve-tone composition, philosophies of post-war American music theory, avant-garde and experimental musical practices in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the history and analysis of various popular music genres and styles. He has presented at numerous regional and national conferences and his work has appeared in journals such asAmerican MusicEcho: A Music-Centered Journal, and Popular Music. His book John Zorn: Tradition and Transgression was published by Indiana University Press in 2008. He is currently working on another book-length project that examines how the notion of freedom has been variously interpreted and used by a select group of American musicians, performers, and songwriters in the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Office: Hill Hall 213
  • Email: brackett@email.unc.edu


John Zorn: Tradition and Transgression. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Chapters In Edited Collections

“Subsidizing the Experimental Muse: Rereading Ribot.” People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz is Now!,ed. Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, Forthcoming.


“Some Notes on John Zorn’s Cobra,” American Music, Vol. 28, no. 1 (2010): 44-75.

“From the Fantastic to the Dangerously Real: Reading John Zorn’s Artwork,” Echo: A Music-Centered Journal, Vol. VIII/I.

“Examining Rhythmic and Metric Practices in Led Zeppelin’s Style,” Popular Music, Vol. 27, no. 1 (January 2008): 53-76.