Michael Lively


Senior Lecturer in Music Theory







Michael Lively teaches in the department of theory and composition within the Division of Music. His research interests focus on music theory pedagogy, musical narratology, and Beethoven sketch study, but he has also published in related areas of research, including the application of psychoanalytic theory to musical analysis and criticism, the structural analysis of Renaissance polyphony, and the theoretical analysis of the music of Florence Price, an early 20th-century African American composer. His publications include articles in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy (2005), Inquiry (2015), Music Educators Journal (2017), Gamut: Journal of the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic (2020) and College Music Symposium (2023). At SMU, Lively teaches courses in the undergraduate music theory and musicianship sequence, upper division classes in the analysis of form and the study of contemporary music, and graduate level courses in music analysis. He is a member of the Association of Asian and Pacific American Scholars at SMU.


Ph.D., University of North Texas

Course list

Undergraduate Music Theory 
Undergraduate Musicianship 
Form and AnalysisMUTH 3350
Analysis of Contemporary MusicMUTH 4300
Analytical TechniquesMUTH 6330
Michael Lively