Assistant Professor of Music
A.F.A., Harper College; B.A., Elmhurst College; M.A., Ohio State University; Ph.D., Ohio State University
Joseph Plazak is currently Assistant Professor at Illinois Wesleyan University where he teaches courses in music theory and analysis. He holds a Bachelor in Arts degree in both music and psychology from Elmhurst College, a Master Degree in Music Theory from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Cognition, also from Ohio State. There he wrote his dissertation on "Instrumental irony and the perception of musical sarcasm."
His main research areas of interest include aural skill & aural map acquisition, musical preferences, music copyright, and strong emotional experiences in response to music. He has presented his research at the regional, national, and international levels, and his publications can be found in ESCOM's Musicae Scientae and Empirical Musicology Review.
Dr. Plazak is also a classical guitarist and composer. He performs with a variety of chamber groups, and has an interest in incorporating technology into live performance using Ableton Live and MAX/MSP. He primarily composes electroacoustic music, as well as music for film and dance. He is also an advocate for incorporating music technology into all types of musical activity, including education, composition, listening, and practice.
A Select List of Publications:
Plazak, J., & Huron, D. (2011). The first three seconds: listener knowledge gained from brief musical excerpts. Musicae Scientiae, 15(1), 29-44.
Plazak, J., Huron, D. & Williams, B. (2010). Fixed average spectra of orchestral instrument tones. Empirical Musicology Review, 5(1), 10-17.