David Bernstein

David Bernstein
Professor of Music
Music Department Chair
Music 264

Professional Interests: John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, American Experimentalism, avant-garde music and aesthetics, Arnold Schoenberg's tonal theories, post-tonal theory and analysis, 20th-century music literature, the history of late 19th- and early 20th-century harmonic theory

Curriculum Vitae


At Mills Since 1989


David W. Bernstein is professor of music at Mills College. His publications include The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde, Writings through John Cage’s Music, Poetry, and Art (co-edited with Christopher Hatch) and essays in Cage & Consequences, ed. Julia Schröder and Volker Straebel, The Cambridge Companion to John Cage, ed., David Nicholls; John Cage: Music, Philosophy, and Intention, 1933-50, ed., David Patterson; The New York Schools of Music and the Visual Arts ed., Steven Johnson; Alvin Curran: Live in Roma, ed., Daniele Margoni Tortora; and the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, ed., Thomas Christensen. His writings have also appeared in the Journal of Music Theory, Current Musicology, Music Theory Spectrum, and Contemporary Music Review. He is presently writing a book on Pauline Oliveros for the University of Illinois Press and served as editor of Music Theory Spectrum.


  • BA, Queens College
  • MA, Columbia University
  • PhD, Columbia University

Faculty Office Hours, Fall 2020

Days Times Room
W 12:00 pm–2:00 pm Music 264

Spring 2021 Schedule

Day Time Course Title Room
MW1:00 pm-2:40 pmDiatonic Harmony & Cntrpnt I
  Thesis for Master's Degree

Courses Taught

  • MUS 001: Exploring Music: Performance, Creation, and Cultural Practice
  • MUS 005: Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint I
  • MUS 006: Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint II
  • MUS 101: 20th-Century Musical Modernism and Its Aftermath
  • MUS 102: Experimental Music: From 1952 to the Present
  • MUS 148: Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
  • MUS 150: Music History and Culture Seminar
  • MUS 156: Tonal Analysis
  • MUS 160: Practicum
  • MUS 180A: ST: Breaking the Sound Barrier: New Directions in Twenty-First Music Research
  • MUS 212: Seminar in 20th-Century Literature and Theory
  • MUS 248: Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
  • MUS 250: Thesis for the Master's Degree
  • MUS 256: Tonal Analysis
  • MUS 260: Practicum