The following topics are based on Robert Rollin’s published articles, monographs and/or presentations at international, national, or regional conventions, and professional guest-composer residencies:

American Music

  • The Native Americans: Music, Cults and Cultures
  • Aspects of Native American Aculturation (with Attention to Musical, Artistic, Social, and Political Crosscurrents and with Comparison to South African Contexts)
  • Extra Musical Influences on the American Composer
  • The Experimental Composer and His Audience
  • New Music Organizations Inside and Outside of the University
  • The Music of Karel Husa
  • Jewish Music in America: A Variety of Traditions
  • The Age of Gershwin
  • Hollywood Film Composer Johnterryl Plumeri


  • Humanistic Influences on Musical Creation
  • New Music from Mexico
  • Creativity in Music and Other Disciplines (based on ideas of Arthur Koestler)
  • New Directions in Contemporary Music
  • Important Composers of the Teresienstadt Ghetto, 1942-45
  • The Composer and the Humanities
  • New Music and Broadcasting
  • The Composer and the University
  • New Music Festivals: Their Importance and Limitations
  • New Music in Australia and New Zealand
  • Film Music


  • Analysis of Twentieth-Century Music
  • Composition Pedagogy
  • Irving Berlin’s “Lazy”: Chromaticism, Linear Elements, and Permeable Harmony
  • Some Recent Rhythmic Techniques
  • Spatial and Temporal Techniques: An Investigation
  • The Music of György Ligeti (his early work, innovative contributions, and mature output)
  • The Music of Terezin (a series of 8 analytical lectures on works by Gideon Klein, Victor Ullmann, Hans Krása, and Pavel Haas; four sample lectures listed below):
    1. Victor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis: an Opera with a Powerful Message
    2. Harmony and Form in Gideon Klein’s Sonata for Piano
    3. Hans Krása’s Brundibár, a Children’s Opera from Terezin
    4. Words, Music, and Structure in Pavel Haas’ Four Chinese Songs
  • American Composer, Louise Talma’s Piano Sonata
  • Karel Husa’s Concerto for Orchestra (1986): An Analysis
  • On Words, Music, and Voices; A Study of Recent Innovations in Vocal Music
  • Cross-Cultural Influences on Contemporary Music: A Composer’s Perspective
  • Some Thoughts on Writing Music for Brass
  • East Indian Music as a Source for Contemporary Composition
  • Approaches for the Analysis of Sound Mass Composition (examples from the music of Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Ligeti, Xenakis, and others)
  • Closed and Open Form in the Music of Contemporary Composers (eg. György Ligeti, John Adams, Michael Torke, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and others)
  • Analysis of Selected Songs and Instrumental Works of Gershwin
  • Analysis of Selected Songs of the Beatles
  • Beginnings: A Multi-Volume Set of Pedagogical Piano Pieces