Narmour, Eugene, influential American music theorist; b. Deming, N.Mex., Oct. 27, 1939. He studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. (B.M., 1961; M.A., 1962), and with Leonard Meyer, Grosvenor Cooper, and Howard M. Brown at the Univ. of Chicago (Ph.D., 1974, with the diss. A Theory of Tonal Melody). From 1963 to 1967 he was an asst. prof, at East Carolina Univ., and then was a lecturer at the Univ. of Chicago from 1968 to 1971. In 1971 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Pennsylvania as an asst. prof., subsequently serving as an assoc. prof. (1976–87), chairman of the music dept. (1980–83; 1990–93), the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Prof, of Music (from 1993), and assoc. dean for the humanities and the social sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences (1995–98). He also was a visiting fellow at Wolfson Coll., Oxford (1984; 1989–90), a visiting lecturer at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (1990), a visiting prof, at the Beijing Cons. (1991), and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford (1993–94). He has lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Asia, and his works have been translated into French, Spanish, and Chinese. From 1995 to 1998 he served as president of the Soc. for Music Perception and Cognition. Narmour’s first book, Beyond Schenkerism (Chicago, 1977), was an important turning point in contemporary analysis, focusing on the interface between music theory and cognition, and addressing problems of both composition and perception. His articles on hierarchical structuring, style, form, content, rule-mapping, and particularly his later books, The Analysis and Cognition of Basic Melodic Structures (Chicago, 1990) and The Analysis and Cognition of Melodic Complexity (Chicago, 1991), present a formalized theory of implication-realization, and are much cited by empirical psychologists whose experimental data have found strong support for the model.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire