My research focuses upon musical meaning and music analysis. In the study of musical meaning I have worked extensively on the philosophy and semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce. This work has developed into a broader concern with philosophical approaches to meaning and ways of rethinking music’s place within networks of psychological, social and historical forces.
My work on musical meaning has shaded into the study of music analysis and much of my work in this area has concerned late eighteenth-century music. I have produced more thoroughly analytical research on the patterns and practices of blues music. In this work I have adapted recent analytical technologies to bring new light to the blues while attempting to remain sensitive to the complex socio-cultural contexts that articulate this fascinating body of music.