Dr. Palmer is a music theorist whose primary research focuses on form, meter, and musical topics in instrumental music from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and in contemporary bluegrass music. In recent articles for Music Theory Online and the Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America, he discusses musical topics, formal functions, and linguistic theories of verbal humor to explain how Classical composers create humor through “script oppositions” and “excess.” Dr. Palmer has presented at national and regional meetings of the Society for Music Theory, where his most recent presentation discussed metric disruptions in the progressive bluegrass group, Punch Brothers. His other main research interests include music pedagogy, performance analysis, and Balinese gamelan.

Dr. Palmer is an award-winning teacher who has also taught music theory and aural skills at McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and Douglas College. He has a B.Mus. in clarinet performance/music theory and an M.A. in music theory from McGill University, and a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of British Columbia.