Professor, Music Theory

Programme Director, Master of Arts in Music
201A, Hui Yeung Shing Building
BA (CUHK); Cert. Japanese Studies (Kyoto); MPhil, PhD (Cantab)
20th Century Music; Scriabin; Music and Theoretical Writings of Messiaen; Octatonicism

CHEONG Wai-Ling obtained her B.A. from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and continued her studies in the U.K., earning M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Cambridge University. Her research has focused largely on the music of Olivier Messiaen and Alexander Scriabin, and her articles have been published in top-ranked journals such as Music Analysis, the Journal of Royal Musical Association and Acta Musicologica. She has received several major research grants as well as Cambridge University's Allen Scholarship and CUHK's Innovative Teaching Award.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters and Journal Articles
[second and third authors] Hong Ding and Tam Yi Ching Kevin. 'From Berlin to Wuhan: Twelve-Tone Composition and the Pedagogical Legacies of Kohoutek, Krenek, and Smith Brindle in China', Acta Musicologica, Vol. 94, No. 1 (2022), pp. 48-67.

'Ancient Greek Rhythms in Messiaen's Le sacre: Nietzsche's Legacy?' Musicology, Vol. 27 (2020), pp. 97–136.
'The Rite of Spring: Rhythmic Rebirths as Delivered by Messiaen and Boulez', in Zeitgestalten – Zeit gestalten: Festschrift für Gesine Schröder zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Martina Sichardt, Christoph Hust and Constanze Rora (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2019), pp. 15–57.
[second author] Hong Ding. 'Sposobin Remains: A Soviet Harmony Textbook's Twisted Fate in China', Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie, Vol. 15, No. 2 (2018), pp. 45-77.
'Ancient Greek Rhythms in Tristan and Nietzsche', Musicologist, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2018), pp. 183–226.
'Reading Schoenberg, Hindemith, and Kurth in Sang Tong: Modernist Harmonic Approaches in China', Acta Musicologica, Vol. 88, No. 1 (2016), pp. 98–108.

'"Miroir fluide": Messiaen, Debussy and Cyrano's "Synaesthetic" Bird', Music and Letters, Vol. 95, No. 4 (2014), pp. 603–647.

'Toward a Theory of Synaesthetic Composition: A Case Study of Messiaen's Soundcolour and Bedazzlement', Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2013), pp. 65–88.

'Culture as Reference in the "Gagaku" of Messiaen's Sept Haïkaï', in Matjaz Barbo and Thomas Hochradner ed., Music and its Referential Systems (Wien: Hollitzer, 2011), pp. 177–200.

'Buddhist Temple, Shinto Shrine and the Invisible God of Sept haïkaï', in Andrew Shenton ed., Messiaen the Theologian (Hants: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 241–61.

'Plainchants as Coloured Time in Messiaen's Couleurs de la cité céleste', Tempo, Vol. 64, No. 254 (2010), pp. 20–37.

'Neumes and Greek rhythms: The breakthrough in Messiaen's Birdsong', Acta Musicologica, Vol. 80, No. 1 (2008), pp. 1–32.

'Symmetrical Permutation, the Twelve Tones and Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux', Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2007), pp. 110–136.

'A Play of Two Keys in Chopin's Second Ballade', Chopin in Paris: The 1830s (Warzawa: Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, 2007), ed. by Artur Szklener, pp. 163-176.

'Composing with Pre-composed Chords in the Finale of Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum', Revue de musicologie, Vol. 90, No.1 (2004), pp.115–132.

'Messiaen's Chord Tables: Ordering the Disordered,' Tempo, Vol. 57, No. 226 (2003), pp. 2–10.

'Rediscovering Messiaen's Invented Chords', Acta Musicologica, Vol. 75, No. 1 (2003), pp. 85–105.

'Messiaen's Triadic Colouration: Modes as Interversion', Music Analysis, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2002), pp. 53–84.

'Scriabin's "White Mass": A Dialogue between the "Mystic" and the Octatonic', The Journal of the Scriabin Society of America, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2000), pp. 69–93.

'Scriabin's Octatonic Sonata', Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Vol. 121, No. 2 (1996), pp. 206–228.

'Orthography in Scriabin's Late Works', Music Analysis, Vol. 12, No. 1 (1993), pp. 47–68.

List of Recent Courses Taught
  • MUSC3442 Post-tonal Music Analysis
  • MUSC3452 Theory and Analysis: Special Topic I
  • MUSC3482 Theory and Analysis: Special topic IV
  • MUSC6402 Advanced Post-tonal Music
  • MUSC6451 Special Topics: Theory and Analysis
  • MUSC5312 Special topic VI in "Style & Interpretation": Rhythmic Theories Past and Present (MA)