Skip to main content
Belmont University logo

Clare Eng

Clare Eng

Clare Sher Ling Eng is Associate Professor of Music at Belmont University.  She joined the faculty in 2011, and teaches courses in theory, aural skills, analysis and counterpoint.  Before coming to Belmont, she taught music theory at Macalester College and Yale University.

Dr. Eng is an active scholar.  Her publications have appeared in Music Theory Spectrum, Music Theory Online, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, VoiceXchange, and contributed a chapter to a volume about the music of Benjamin Britten.  She has also given papers at regional, national and international musicological conferences, including meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the College Music Society and the Society for Ethnomusicology.  Her primary research interest is in understanding how traditional musical concepts and idioms are transformed in twentieth-century classical music.  Topics that she has examined in particular are the semiosis of closure, motivic intertextuality in the music of Benjamin Britten, and sequences.  Dr. Eng maintains a secondary research interest in the music of Communist China, and the percussion music of Steve Reich.  Besides writing and talking about music herself, Dr. Eng also seeks to foster the same activities among students.  While a graduate student at Yale, she organized the Yale Graduate Music Symposium, the first of a still ongoing biennial conference series at Yale.  At Belmont, she participates in the annual Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium, organizing the Music Session and mentoring students that she sponsors for the event.

Dr. Eng is committed to her role as educator and mentor.  At Belmont, she advises senior theory projects and graduate theses.  She also regularly attends pedagogy workshops, and in 2010, at the invitation of the Ministry of Education in Singapore, she gave a workshop to music educators in Singapore on the subject of Bartók and nationalism in twentieth-century Western classical music. 

Dr. Eng received a Ph.D., M.A. and M.Phil. in music theory from Yale University, a Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance, summa cum laude, from Florida International University, and a Bachelor of Law with honors from the National University of Singapore.

Selected publications:

“The Problem of Closure in Neo-Tonal Music.” Music Theory Spectrum 41/2 (2019): 285–304.

“Britten’s Slippery Semitone and Motivic Intertextuality in The Poet’s Echo, op. 76, and Serenade, op. 31.” In Essays on Benjamin Britten from a Centenary Symposium, edited by David Forrest et al, 145–180. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017.

Review of Peter Kaminsky, ed., Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011). Music Theory Online 18/1 (2012).

Red Detachment of Women and the Enterprise of Making ‘Model’ Music during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” VoiceXchange 3/1 (2009): 5-37.

“‘Writ in remembrance more than things long past’: Cadential Relationships in Fauré’s Mirages.” Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 23 (2009): 135-152. (Joint First Prize Winner of the 2009 Bruce Benward Student Analysis Competition)

Contact: (615) 460-6267 or email