Photo of Andrew Pau
  • Associate Professor of Music Theory


  • AB, Stanford University, 1990
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1993
  • MM, Mannes College of Music, 2005
  • PhD, City University of New York, 2012


Andrew Pau has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory since 2011. Pau’s research focuses on the music of nineteenth-century French composers. He has written and presented papers on chromatic harmony, phrase rhythm and text setting, and theories of narrative and musical meaning. He is especially interested in musical genres such as opera that lie at the intersection between music and the literary, visual, theatrical, and choreographic arts.

In April 2016, Pau appeared on national television as a contestant on the game show Jeopardy!, where he became a six-day champion.

Barry S. Brook Dissertation Award in Music, CUNY Graduate Center (2012)

Mannes Theory Essay Award (2010)

Felix Salzer Techniques of Music Award, Mannes College of Music (2005)

“Sous le rythme de la chanson: Rhythm, Text, and Diegetic Performance in Nineteenth-Century French Opera.” Music Theory Online 21/3 (2015).

“Plagal Systems in the Songs of Fauré and Duparc.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Music Theory Society of New York State, New York, NY, April 2016

“The Influence of Dance Forms on Metrical Practices in Nineteenth-Century French Opera.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of Music Theory Midwest, Appleton, WI, April 2014.

“‘A Flight Into the Exotic Distance’: Harmony and Voice Leading in the Act IV Duet from Bizet’s Carmen.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, Charlotte, NC, November 2013

“Chromaticism, Motive, and Tonality in Bizet’s Carmen.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory, Montreal, Canada, October 2009

“The Harmonic Theories of Jean-Adam Serre.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the New England Conference of Music Theorists, New Haven, CT, April 2009

“Voice Leading as Harmonic Determinant in Atonal Music.” Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory, Baltimore, MD, November 2007


  • Andrew Pau Publishes Article

    November 28, 2018

    Associate Professor of Music Theory Andrew Pau's article "Common-Tone Tonality in Bizet's Carmen" was published in the journal Music Theory Spectrum. The article explores ways in which a harmonic analysis of George's Bizet's score can illuminate the dramatic structure of Carmen, one of the most popular operas in the repertoire.

  • Andrew Pau Delivers Paper on Debussy

    March 19, 2018

    Oberlin Conservatory associate professor of music theory Andrew Pau presented a paper at a conference at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England on March 19, 2018. The five-day programClaude Debussy in 2018: a Centenary Celebration, marks the 100th anniversary of Debussy's death on March 25, 2018. Pau joins guest speakers from 13 countries who explore Debussy’s editions and sketches, critical and interpretative approaches, textual and cultural-historical analysis, and his legacy in performance, recording, composition and arrangement. His paper, "The Six épigraphes antiques and Debussy’s (Re)compositional Process," addressed Debussy’s "Style in History."