• Headshot of music theory professor David Byrne
  • Assistant Professor, Desautels Faculty of Music

    Room 213 Taché Hall
    150 Dafoe Road
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2



Since 2013, Dr. David Byrne has been Assistant Professor of music theory in the Desautels Faculty of Music, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, post-1900 music, and orchestration. In addition to teaching and research in music theory, he has worked as a conductor, clarinetist and arranger.

  • In the faculty



Academic work

Dr. Byrne’s primary research focuses on harmony and tonality in late nineteenth and early twentieth century music, on harmonic theories that developed during that period, and how they relate to recent transformational and neo-Riemannian theories. His doctoral dissertation is a comprehensive study of the harmonic theories of Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933), and includes a complete English translation of one of Karg-Elert’s treatises.

His research also encompasses transformational and mathematical models of music, the analysis of musical form, and twentieth-century music from the United Kingdom, Canada and the Nordic countries.

Dr. Byrne has published in Music Research Forum, and has presented his research at the Society for Music Theory (national and regional), the Society for Music Analysis (UK), EuroMAC (European Music Analysis Conference), MusCAN (Canadian University Music Society), the International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, the North American British Music Studies Association, and a Delius symposium at the British Library (London).

Performance highlights

Dr. Byrne has conducted performances with a variety of wind ensembles, orchestras and chamber groups in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Cincinnati, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the CCM Wind Ensemble, the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble and the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. His arrangements for wind band, orchestra and chamber groups have been performed by ensembles in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Calgary.  David currently plays clarinet and bass clarinet in the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble.


University of Manitoba Students’ Teacher Recognition Award (2016)

Ongoing research and creative works

Dr. Byrne's current major project is a study of form, tonal structure and compositional process in the music of Frederick Delius (1862-1934), involving the composer’s manuscripts and sketches.

Dr. Byrne worked with Professor Charles Horton on the second edition of Harmony Through Melody, an undergraduate theory textbook written by Horton and Lawrence Ritchey, which was published in 2020.