About Me

John MacInnis

John MacInnis
Assistant Professor of Music

Phone: (712) 722-6202

My classes at Dordt College engage music analytically, historically, and culturally. Considered broadly, my work compliments private voice lessons and orchestra rehearsal by expanding how students understand and communicate about music. My goal is to keep topics rooted in useful, real-life experience. For example, in the four-semester music theory sequence students use computer notation programs to compose projects ranging from twelve-bar blues to film scores. In music history, students present semester long research projects and perform period compositions. And in our class on world music cultures, students engage the music of China, India, and the African continent in addition to experiences performing a Javanese gamelan.

I believe that pursuing my own research projects strengthens my work in the classroom. My interests include music studied as a liberal art in Antiquity through the Middle Ages, music and neoplatonism, music and media, music comedians, and hymn translators of the ninetenth century. I've enjoyed opportunities to conduct research in the Library of Congress, the New York Philharmonic Archive, the National Library and Archives of Canada, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany.

In 2013, with funding from the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service, I lead an undergraduate research assistant in exploring "Ninth-Century Music Theory in Context." Together we examined ninth-century music treatises and parsed connections between them and other philosophical writings of that era, such as the works of John Scottus Eriugena.

In 2014, I attended the Eastman School of Music, Music Theory Pedagogy Institute and a conference on Music History Pedagogy. I also received an Institutional Innovations in Pedagogy Grant funding my ongoing project of developing tablet-based curriculum for our Music Theory sequence at Dordt College.

Recent Presentations:
- "The Interreferentiality of Music, Soul, and Cosmos in Eriugena's Commentary on Martianus Capella's De Nuptiis, Book I" - Society for the Promotion of Eriugenian Studies, International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2015 (upcoming)
- "Augustine's De Musica in the 21st Century Music Classroom" - Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities Regional Conference, Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition: Augustine Across the Curriculum, 2014
- "The Arts of War: Reconsidering Conflict Through Interdisciplinary Artistic Collaboration" - Verge Conference, 2014

Ph.D., Musicology, Florida State University
M.Mus., Historical Musicology, Florida State University
M.Mus., Sacred Music, Organ Proficiency, Bob Jones University
B.Mus. (cum laude), Piano Performance, Bob Jones University