List of music theorists

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This is a list of music theorists arranged in chronological order. The criteria for inclusion relies on publication or (especially with pre-15th century theorists) dissemination of written theoretical work by western musicians, and their inclusion in published books discussing the history of music theory.

Since the categories for music theorists are not subdivided by nationality, this list is intended to provide an overview of music theorists and provide for further exploration of the field.

Information on some theorists is scant (e.g. those named Anonymous); in those cases the link goes to the existing treatise(s).


Middle Ages[edit]


17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]


  • Damschroder, David and David Russell Williams. Music theory from Zarlino to Schenker : a bibliography and guide. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1990. ISBN 0-918728-99-1
  • Williams, David Russell and C. Matthew Balensuela. Music theory from Boethius to Zarlino: a bibliography and guide. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-57647-157-9