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NATHAN BAKER

Music Theory Coordinator
307-268-2538


Nathan Baker
MU 210
Casper College
125 College Drive
Casper, WY 82601

B.M., Utah State University (Music Education)
B.M., Utah State University (Music Composition)
M.M., University of Oregon (Music Theory)
Ph.D. (coursework), University of Oregon (Music Theory/Music History)


  • Biography
  • Course Information
  • Personal

Nathan Baker has been the Music Theory Coordinator at Casper College since fall of 2009. Originally from Missoula, MT, Baker received a B. Mus. in Music Education and Music Composition from Utah State University in 2002, an M.A. in Music Theory from the University of Oregon in 2006, and is nearing completion of the Ph.D. in Music Theory (with a supporting area in Music History) from the University of Oregon.

Baker has previously assisted with undergraduate theory, aural skills, and 20th century music courses at Utah State University as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow. As a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Oregon, he taught and assisted with undergraduate courses in theory, aural skills, keyboard skills, analysis, and counterpoint, as well as a self-designed summer course in video game music. In 2004 he was the recipient of the University of Oregon School of Music’s Excellence in Teaching award.

Baker’s research has ranged from neo-Riemannian theory and atonality to the study of harmony and form in video game music; other topics of interest include world music theory and music theory pedagogy. His master’s thesis “Neo-Riemannian Perspectives on the Early Music of Arnold Schoenberg” discovered a link between the harmonic progressions found in late Romantic composers and the progressions used in Schoenberg’s early atonal period. Baker’s proposed doctoral dissertation will focus on “Form, Style, and Meaning in Japanese Video Game Music.” A member of the Society for Music Theory, Baker has presented his findings at the West Coast Conference for Music Theory and Analysis.

Baker’s other musical activities include playing the trombone and composing and arranging music. He was principal trombonist with the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra and the University of Oregon Jazz Lab Band II, and has also played in the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and various other ensembles at the University of Oregon and Utah State University. He was also the trombone soloist with the Symphony of the Mountain West in Salt Lake City, Utah, and played in the University of Oregon’s 2002 production of Chicago. Baker’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by the trombone ensembles at Utah State University and the University of Oregon, the Utah State University Symphonic Band, and the Mount Logan Middle School after-school opera program.

Coming soon.

My name is Nathan Baker, and I'm the Music Theory Coordinator at Casper College. I grew up in Missoula, Montana and did my undergrad in music education and music composition (double major) at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Moving here to Casper, Wyoming thus made me feel like I was coming home. Most recently, I spent seven years at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, where I earned my masters in music theory and completed my doctoral course work in music theory/music history. This is my first job as an actual professor, and I don't think I could have found a better place to teach anywhere!

I'm very eclectic in my musical tastes, enjoying all kinds of musical styles and genres. Some musics that I'm especially fond of (in no particular order) include: big band jazz; late 19th-/early 20th-century French/Russian music; north Indian classical music (ragas/talas, Ravi Shankar, etc.); the band Chicago (love that horn section!); and Japanese video game music (my dissertation is on form, style, and meaning in the music of composers such as Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, and Yasunori Mitsuda).

I absolutely LOVE to teach, and still can't entirely believe that I get paid a decent salary to get up every morning and come have an absolute blast making a difference in the lives of my students! When I'm not teaching, I enjoy cooking various ethnic cuisines (especially Indian, Italian, and authentic Mexican--I lived in Puebla, Mexico for a year), and I also greatly enjoy games of all types (video games, alternating between my Wii and my max-level rogue in World of Warcraft; European board games like Settlers of Cataan, Puerto Rico, Ra, and Ticket to Ride; and Dungeons and Dragons, which I've been DMing for since third grade).

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