James O. Bungert
B.M. University of Wisconsin
M.A. University of Iowa
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office: Losekamp Hall 22A
Dr. Bungert is excited to contribute to the intellectual growth of Rocky students. Originally from east-central Minnesota, Jim earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Theory from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, a Master of Arts in Music Theory from the University of Iowa, and most recently a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
In a liberal-arts setting such as RMC's, Dr. Bungert strives to teach beyond his specialty in order to help all students — both music majors and non-majors — become more well-rounded and engaged citizens. All of his courses hold the cultivation of critical thinking, writing, reading, and listening as their primary goals. Additionally, effective communication and student engagement form subtexts not only to his teaching, but also to all of his professional activities.
His dissertation, “Performing Transformations,” understands music as something we do, and investigates the physical actions of piano performance, primarily in the music of Chopin. He has presented papers drawn from the dissertation at regional, national, and international conferences. Last spring his first major article “Bach and the Patterns of Transformation” appeared in Music Theory Spectrum.
A new research direction diversifies his research portfolio: rap music, particularly the music of Kendrick Lamar. Many current analytical approaches discuss rap in technical terms a bit too familiar to Western music theorists, terms ignorant of the social injustice and suffering that inspires the both the music and what he feels to be its most connected modes of listening. He presented a paper titled, “‘When You Got the Yams’: Flow, Form, and Social Message in Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” at the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory this past spring; and this fall, he will participate at the national level in the SMT Popular Music Interest Group, discussing Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly with other rap scholars.
Outside of academia, Jim enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, exploring Montana's vast countryside, listening to metal, and playing ice hockey in a local recreational league — among other things.
MUS 111, 112, 211, 212: Music Theory I – IV (core music theory sequence)
MUS 141, 142, 241, 242: Musicianship I – IV (core musicianship sequence)
MUS 201 and 202: Music Through the Centuries I and II (core music history sequence)
MUS 205/305: The History of Rock (arts core curriculum)
MUS 311: Counterpoint
MUS 361: Form and Analysis