New master’s student Julia Sills—a teaching assistant in the College of Music’s theory department—graduated with bachelor’s degrees in music theory and flute performance from Florida State University earlier this year.
In her undergraduate thesis, “An Introductory Study of LoFi Music,” Sills worked to define and provide methods of analyzing the LoFi genre—an electronic genre of music with influences from hip-hop and jazz, distinguished by purposeful degradations of sound. She created a corpus study of 100 LoFi tracks and conducted research through pop culture mediums, such as online articles and YouTube videos, to compile information about the conventions of the genre. In pursuing her master’s in music theory at the College of Music, Sills plans to continue her research in popular music with a special focus on harmony and rhythm.
“I chose to study this topic because of its pervasiveness in popular culture, especially with people in their teens through their 30s,” she shares. “I believe music that is relevant to modern popular culture should have a space in academic literature.”
Sills continues, “I believe in the importance of being a musician with diverse interests both within and beyond the field of music.
“As a theorist, my interest in researching popular music has turned me into somewhat of a pop culture historian. Researching popular music has also necessitated interdisciplinary study into copyright and intellectual property law, so as to best understand the conventions of modern popular music.”
Sills remains an active flutist and enjoys performing music by living composers. Most recently, she performed as principal flute in the Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra’s “To There From Here” program.
Sills exemplifies the College of Music’s vision to develop multiskilled, multifaceted universal musicians who innovate, influence and impact a diversity of disciplines.