William Caplin, a specialist in the theory of musical form and James McGill professor of music theory at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, is one of eight outstanding Canadian researchers to be awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Killam Research Fellowship. The Council announced the recipients of the grants today.

Recipients of the Killam Fellowships, among Canada’s most distinguished research awards, receive $70,000 a year for two years. The grants allow them to be released from teaching and administrative duties and devote themselves full time to research. Professor Caplin is the first Killam Research Fellowship recipient from the Schulich School of Music.

Professor Caplin will pursue further study on cadence – a harmonic and melodic pattern signaling the end of a section or piece of music – by grounding the concept in the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven and then exploring how cadence functions in a wider range of musical styles. He will also consider the roles of performer and listener in the projection and experience of cadence. The study of cadence has emerged as a major component of modern musical scholarship since it provides a key to understanding how compositions are formally structured.

“I’m extremely honoured to have been selected for this generous award,” Prof. Caplin said. “It will allow me to complete a large-scale study that has been central to my research efforts for many years.”

The Killam Selection Committee, which included 14 eminent scientists and scholars representing a broad range of disciplines, selected this year’s winners from among 74 applications.

The Killam Research Fellowships, made possible by a bequest of Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam, support scholars engaged in research projects of outstanding merit in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies within these fields.

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