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Faculty of Music

Music Theory and Analysis
Music in the Twentieth Century
Analysis of Film Music
Music and Mathematics


I am a PhD student at Gonville and Caius College, working under the supervision of Prof. Nicholas Marston. My working dissertation title is 'Remystifying Scriabin: Scalar Quality in the Late Works'. This project addresses the enigmatic late harmonies of Alexander Scriabin by proposing a novel model of tension and release properties for early-twentieth-century scalar music. Close readings of several 'problem pieces' from Scriabin's output form the bulk of my enquiry.

I completed my undergraduate (BA, with distinction) and Master's (MPhil) studies at Gonville and Caius College, where I was a Senior Scholar, a Tammy Chen Graduate Scholar, and the recipient of the Compton Wills Prize for Music. My work has been presented at music theory and analysis conferences both nationally and internationally.

Beyond Scriabin, research interests include the 'free atonal' music of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, the late works of Franz Liszt and Igor Stravinsky, Film Music, particularly through an analytical lens, and general intersections between mathematics, music-cognition, and music analysis. 


Key publications: 

2024: 'Harmonic "Quality" and Set-Class Structure: Schoenberg's Opus 19 No. 2 Reconsidered', Music Theory Online, forthcoming. {refereed journal article}

2024: 'Music as “Diegesis-Determinant”, Disability and the Representation of Madness in The ‘Bathroom Dance’ Scene, from Joker (2019)’, in Laurel Parsons & Brenda Ravenscroft (eds.), Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers, Vol. 4 (New York: Oxford University Press), forthcoming. {book chapter}

‘Scriabin’s Lisztian-Stravinskian Sonata Forms’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association. {accepted, with revisions}

Other publications: 

In Preparation:

December 2023: ‘Diatonicism and Modality in Scriabin’s Middle and Late Periods’.

December 2023: ‘Alban Berg’s Op. 5/2 and the Concept of “Recomposition”’.

January 2024: 'Beyond Scriabin: Kaikhosru Sorabji's Harmony as Prism for Mixed Identity'.


2022: 'Rajan Lal Reflects on 150 Years of Alexander Scriabin and the Analytical Task of "Remystifying"', University of Cambridge, Faculty of Music Research Blog:

Teaching and Supervisions


I teach or have taught Music Analysis at Part 1A, Part 1B and Part II for three Cambridge colleges: Gonville and Caius, Trinity, and Clare. To date, I have supervised three Part II analysis portfolios to completion and presently oversee several more. I also teach the complete Tonal Skills pathway in 'Harmony' at Gonville and Caius, working with students in orchestration and in style composition projects from 1800 onwards. 

Other Professional Activities

I co-convene the Cambridge Faculty of Music Colloquium Series for 2023/24. For three years from 2020-2023, I was head of Oxbridge Admissions at Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, Rochester.