Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

John Ito

Dr. John Paul Ito

Associate Professor of Music Theory

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


John Paul Ito received an SB in music from MIT, an MM in viola performance from Boston University, and a PhD in music theory from Columbia University.

His main area of research is meter and hypermeter and their connections with cognition, performance, and the history of musical style.  Other interests include cognitive linguistics, human movement science, methodology and epistemology, and Christian theology.  His book Focal Impulse Theory: Musical Expression, Meter, and the Body was published in 2021 by Indiana University Press in the series Musical Meaning and Interpretation.  He has also published in Bonner Beethoven-Studien, College Music Symposium, The Journal of Musicology, The Journal of Music Theory, and Music Perception, and venues for his presentations have included the European Music Analysis Conference, the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, the Performance Studies Network International Conference, the Society for Music Theory, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan.

Before coming to Carnegie Mellon he taught for several years in the conservatory at Lawrence University, where he received the Mrs. H. K. Babcock award for service to the campus community.  

His personal website includes more detail about his research and extensive materials related to his teaching.