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Dr. Erik Heine

Dr. Erik Heine

Dr. Erik Heine,
Professor of Music
Music Theory
School of Music


Erik Heine is a Professor of Music Theory at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, where he has taught since 2005. He is also the Assistant Director of the university's Honors Program. He currently teaches sophomore theory and aural skills, Film and Television Music Analysis, Form & Analysis, and a graduate-level course on music since 1900. His research focuses primarily on film music, both original and pre-existing. He currently serves as an AP Music Theory leader, having been involved with grading the exam since 2012.

Heine is the author of the book James Newton Howard’s Signs: A Film Score Guide, published by Scarecrow Press in 2016. In the book, he provides the first close reading of any of Howard’s film scores, and demonstrates how Howard’s MIDI sketches developed into fully orchestrated cues for the film. The book was researched and largely written while Heine was on sabbatical during the Fall 2014 semester.

Heine has presented papers across the United States and Europe, largely focusing on film music. His work has been published in various journals including Music AnalysisJournal of Music Theory Pedagogy Online, the Journal of Religion and FilmMusic and LettersLiterature/Film Quarterly, and the DSCH Journal. Heine has also contributed chapters to the anthologies Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music, and Film (eds. Andrew Kirkman and Alexander Ivashkin) and Sounding Funny: Sound and Comedy Cinema (eds. Mark Evans and Philip Hayward). He also regularly writes for Film Score Monthly Online as the resident musicologist. His articles have examined top scores for baseball films and directors whose films consistently yield great scores, among others.

“In my teaching, I emphasize that knowing the process is more important than always arriving at the right answer. If a student understands the process of how to obtain the answer, then the correct answer will ultimately follow. I also emphasize that musical analysis comes after several foundational layers. Without the foundation, mastery of the material is not possible.”

He earned a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.M. in Music Theory from the University of Arizona, and a B.M. in Percussion Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University. His teachers have included Jim Buhler, Tim Kolosick, David Neumeyer, and Ed Pearsall. When he’s not teaching, Heine is an avid runner, having competed in distances from 2 miles to 24 hours, and will be running the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Contact Information

FA 321
Bass Center
Oklahoma City, OK 73106