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Matthew Hough

Associate Professor (Teaching)

Matthew Hough is a composer, performer and music theorist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hough’s recent creative output includes concert music collaborations with organist Meghann Wilhoite (Herzlich, 2018, the first and only work ever composed specifically for UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall concert organ) and pianists Anne Rainwater (Three Voices, 2018) and Dahveed Behroozi (New York Song, 2016). His current research focuses on techniques for analysis of popular song and methods for promoting diversity and incorporating technology into a 21st-century undergraduate music curriculum. For this work on diversity and technology, Hough was named a 2019 UC Berkeley Presidential Chair Fellow.

Hough has received composition commissions from ensembles and organizations including Iktus Percussion, Yarn/Wire, Loadbang, Red Light New Music and the Freeport, New York school district. He has received awards and grants from New Music USA, the Sally Mead Hands Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, University of California, New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. He has been a composer in residence at the Omi International Arts Center (NY), Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild (NY), Atlantic Center for the Arts (FL), Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences (GA), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Osage Arts Community (MO) and the Willapa Bay AiR Program (WA).

Hough’s work as a composer, guitarist and vocalist includes performances and recordings under his own name and with groups including Zs, Wet Ink Ensemble, Music=quals, Seductive Sprigs, Blarvuster and a duo with composer/guitarist Juan Calderon.

Hough has authored articles published in the Society for Music Theory’s electronic journal Music Theory Online, Oxford University Press’ Grove Music Online and the journal Guitar Review.

Research Interests

composition, theory, performance

Selected Compositions

Three Takes for one or more musicians (2022)

High Rocks for glockenspiel and stereo playback (2021)

Mind Music for vibraphone (2021)

Traces for electric guitar and piano (2020)

Five Miniatures for flute, clarinet, violin and viola (2019)

Herzlich for organ (2018)

Three Voices for piano and stereo playback (2018)

Shadows ten songs (2017)

Dark Space(s) for electric guitar, electronic keyboard and piano (2016)

When Summer Ends ten songs (2015)

Eleven Cells for any number of woodwind instruments and live electronics (2013)

Remembered States for female voice, flute, bassoon, trumpet, saxophone [t+s], violin, piano, electric guitar and percussion (2011)

pppppppppppppppp for four or more musicians (2010)

Step Into the Fun Zone for alto flute, clarinet, trumpet, tenor saxophone, electric guitar, piano, percussion, violin, viola and cello (2008)

Since We Don’t Understand… for electric guitar and piano (2007)

Woodworking for two tenor saxophones, two electric guitars and two percussionists (2005)

Selected Publications

“Elements of Style in Three Demo Recordings by Stevie Nicks.”  Music Theory Online 21, no. 1 (March 2015).

“Billone, Pierluigi.”  Grove Music Online.  Oxford University Press, January 13, 2015.

“Ligeti, Lukas.”  Grove Music Online.  Oxford University Press, January 13, 2015.

Selected Talks

Ear Training with Peer Performance Dictation. College Music Society National Conference, 2019.

Modular Loops: Toward an Integrated Theory Pedagogy for Cycle-Based Popular Music. Pedagogy Into Practice: Teaching Music Theory in the Twenty-First Century, Lee University (TN), 2017.

Learning Oliver Mtukudzi’s “Tuku Music” Through Modular Loops. Analytical Approaches to World Music International Conference, The New School (NY), 2016.

Jamaican Popular Music in the College Aural Skills Classroom. Ann Arbor Symposium IV: Teaching and Learning Popular Music, University of Michigan, 2015.

Ear Training Wizard: An Interactive Web-Based Application for Musicianship Skills Acquisition. Innovation Celebration Teaching Symposium, Wagner College, 2014.

Selected Previous Teaching Experience

Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, 2014-15 (subject: ethnomusicology)

New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, 2013-15 (subjects: theory, ear training)

Wagner College, 2013-15 (subjects: composition, theory)

Columbia University, 2012-14 (subjects: theory, ear training)

Nyack College School of Music NYC, 2011-13 (subjects: composition, theory, ear training, improvisation)

SUNY Empire State College, 2011-12 (subjects: theory, musicology)


DMA (Composition), Manhattan School of Music, 2012.

MMus (Composition), Manhattan School of Music, 2009.

BMus (Composition), Manhattan School of Music, 2004.