Craig Cummings

Professor, Music Theory, History Composition
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Phone: 607-274-3703
Office: James J Whalen Ctr for Music 3210, Ithaca, NY 14850

Dr. Craig Cummings, Professor of Music Theory, came to Ithaca College in 1989.  He served as Chair of the Department of Music Theory, History, and Composition from 1997 to 2016 and as Interim Dean of the School of Music in 2012–2013.

In May 2011, Cummings was named the first winner of the Mary I. Arlin Award for Distinguished Teaching in Undergraduate Music Theory.  Given once every four years, the award "recognizes outstanding and distinguished teaching in undergraduate music theory courses" and "is intended to recognize individual faculty for sustained commitment to teaching and for teaching that rises above and beyond the individual fine class to a sustained performance of excellence."


  • Ph.D. in Music Theory, Indiana University-Bloomington
    Minors in Clarinet Performance and Music History and Literature
    Dissertation: "Large Scale Coherence in Selected Nineteenth-Century Piano Variations"
  • M.M. in Music Theory, Indiana University-Bloomington
    Cognate field: Clarinet Performance
  • B.M.E. in Music Education, Indiana University-Bloomington

Courses Recently Taught

  • Music Theory I–III
  • Aural Skills I–IV
  • Advanced Aural Skills
  • Form and Analysis
  • Analysis of Music Since 1900


  • "Perspectives on Karel Husa's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Concert Band (1967)," published in Journal of Band Research, vol. 44, no. 1 (Fall 2008): 40–75
  • "Compositional Techniques in Karel Husa's Early Serial Works Poème and Mosaïques," published in ex tempore, vol. 13, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2007): 56–91
  • Essay on Karel Husa's Poème, published in Karel Husa: A Composer's Life in Essays and Documents
  • Other articles and reviews published in Indiana Theory Review, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, ex tempore, and Music Perception
  • Presentations at many conferences on the music of Karel Husa, Schenkerian analysis, history of music theory, and music theory pedagogy

Research in Progress

  • Currently completing a book entitled A Practical Approach to Twentieth-Century Musical Skills
  • Currently analyzing other works by Karel Husa, including Sonata a Tre, Variations, and Music for Prague 1968

Professional Affiliations