of Music

Dr. Brad Hansen
Professor of Music
Music Theory Coordinator

Phone: 503-725-3197
FAX: 503-725-8215
  • Music Theory Mastery - Online practice and testing of written, aural, and keyboard fundamentals. Home of the Music Theory Placement Exam.
  • The Digital Media Knowledge Base - Search the Dictionary, learn about new media, and find resources for creative computing.
  • PSU Classes - For students in Dr. Hansen's Music Theory courses.

Dr. Hansen has taught in the Music Department at PSU since 2000. From 1995-2000 he was Director of Distance Learning and developed technical programs in the School of Extended Studies. Prior to that he taught music at the University of Mississippi, Ball State University, and Humboldt State University. He is also a multimedia producer and instructional designer.

Areas of special interest are Music Technology, Orchestration, and 20th Century Analysis. Brad plays jazz piano, composes, and arranges music. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other organizations. His compositions have been performed by student and professional ensembles worldwide.

Hansen holds a Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Master of Music from the Cincinnati College/Conservatory, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Oregon. He studied jazz at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.


Hansen is the author of The Essentials of Instrumentation, a college text published by McGraw-Hill. (View details online)

He has also written four editions of The Dictionary of Computing and Digital Media, published by Franklin, Beedle & Associates.
(View Table of Contents and sample pages)

Reprints and Papers Presented
Strategies for Teaching Aural Recognition (CMS Presentation, 2005)
The Musical Instrument Digital Interface (Dictionary Appendix)
Digital Audio Production (Dictionary Appendix)
Digital Video Production (Dictionary Appendix)


Hansen has worked as a Multimedia Producer for such entities as Intel, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard. His specialties are in audio production and video compression. He created the MPEG Benchmark Disc in 1995. He has taught interactive design and media production for the Department of Defense, and was keynote speaker at the European conference Multimedia 2000, held in Reykjavik, Iceland. He designed the Portland State University School of Fine and Performing Arts and The Department of Music websites. Hansen built a state-of-the-art Music Technology Computer Lab in the department.


Eclectic in style, Hansen has composed and arranged music for large and small instrumental and vocal ensembles. His arrangement of Schubert's Ave Maria for mezzo soprano, orchestra, and choir was premiered by the Spokane Symphony, and choral groups have performed his compositions internationally. Hansen is a BMI composer. Contact him at the email address above for recordings, or to inquire about commissions. Samples of his work in .mp3 format are linked below:

Sustenance for mixed chamber quintet
for brass quintet
Choral Settings of ee cummings Poems with piano
Victimae Paschali Laudes for SATB choir
Ascent analog synthesis
Dark Moon digital synthesis, saxophone, and tabla
Jubilate digital synthesis, saxophone, and tabla
Trillium digital synthesis, saxophone, and tabla

PSU Classes - Graduate and Undergraduate

Music Theory I, II, and III; three terms each year
Jazz Theory (MUS211, 212, 213)
Keyboard Harmony/Sight Singing/Ear Training
Orchestration, Formal Analysis, Counterpoint
Advanced Instrumental and Choral Arranging: MUS522, 523
Analytical Technique: MUS520
Applied Composition: MUP390,490
Advanced Instrumental Conducting: MUS541
Analysis of Contemporary Music
Composition Seminar: Stravinsky