Laura Schwartz, PhD

  • Part-Time Faculty


Dr. Schwartz is an active scholar in Music Theory and Musicology. She was a recipient of an Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Research Fellowship for 2018-2019 for her dissertation research on self-formation in works by Jenifer Walshe and Pauline Oliveros. Her primary research areas include: verbally notated scores, technologies of self, listening, voice/self in video game music, and Pauline Oliveros. She attended the University of California, Davis (B.A. in Music, 2013), Illinois State University (MM in Composition, 2015), and the University of Pittsburgh (PhD in Music Composition and Theory, 2019).

As a composer, her music explores written notation as a facilitator of a performer’s own creativity and self-formation. She blends elements of traditionally notation scores, verbally notated scores, and illuminated manuscripts situating the participant in a space of their own curiosity and creativity. Schwartz uses cellphones, combs, and cut flowers to highlight everyday technologies as shapers of our lived sound environments. She regularly performs on guided improvisations on amplified electric fan. Her work creates an experience that allows listening to resonate with curiosity. Her current collaboration with Anna Elder involves amplified heartbeats, electronics, and voice.


Theory 1, Basic Musicianship: Class Piano (Curriculum Consultant)

Education & Training

  • PhD in Music Composition and Theory, University of Pittsburgh