The M.A. and Ph.D. programs in musicology at the UBC School of Music offer students advanced training leading to professional careers in teaching and scholarly research.



Dr. Alex Fisher (Chair)
Musicology Faculty

M.A. | Ph.D

Graduate students enjoy a program that balances sound historical methods with critical interpretation, and forges interdisciplinary connections to music theory, ethnomusicology, and the humanities in general. The musicology faculty’s areas of expertise range from Medieval repertories through music of the 21st century, and represent a variety of scholarly approaches and critical methods.

Graduates of UBC’s graduate programs in musicology have obtained professional positions at the University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, the City University of New York, the City University of London, and elsewhere.


  • French Monophonic and Polyphonic Music and Song, c. 1200
  • Notation of Polyphonic Music, c. 1400-1530
  • Music and Society, c. 1500
  • Reformation and Counter-Reformation
  • Orlando di Lasso and His Time
  • Claudio Monteverdi
  • The Operas of Monteverdi
  • Schütz and His Time
  • The Operas of Handel
  • Music and Rhetoric from the Theorists
  • Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos: Genesis and Composition
  • Bach’s B-Minor Mass and the Parody Procedure
  • The Early Concertos of Mozart
  • Mozart in Paris
  • Wagner’s Ring
  • Mahler and Myth Creation in Musicology
  • Music and Narrative
  • Music and Representation
  • Music and Literature: Intersections and Reciprocal Interventions
  • The Idea of Program Music: Aesthetics, Compositional and Analytical Issues
  • The Madam Butterfly Myth in Literature, Film and Music (team taught interdisciplinary seminar)
  • Vienna 1900-1920
  • Topics in Early Modernism
  • Issues of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Modernism
  • Twentieth-Century Opera
  • Quotation in Twentieth-Century Music and Arts



“Cape Breton Fiddling: Preservation, Transformation, and Narrative”

“Sounds of Speechlessness: Helmut Lachenmann’s Early Vocal Works”

“The Theory and Practice of A-Modes in Glarean’s Dodecachordon, 1547″

“Cecile Chaminade: A Composer at Work”

“Dilating on Life: Ani DiFranco’s Musical Structuring of Subjectivity and Pleasure in Dilate

“Surrealism in Francis Poulenc’s Bal Masque

“Representations of Gender in Barbara Pentland’s Disasters of the Sun

“The Early Years of the Canadian League of Composers”

“The Pre-Leipzig Binary Arias of J. S. Bach”

“Gendered Voices: The Liebesfruehling Lieder of Robert and Clara Schumann”

“Paisiello and St. Petersburg”

“A Flood of Tears: Melancholy as Style in English Music and Poetry (circa 1600)”

“A Study of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies”

“An Inquiry into J.S. Bach’s Method of Reworking in his Concerto for Keyboard, Flute, and Violin.”


“Music and Poetry in Mallarmé and Debussy”

“Polystylism in the Works of Alfred Schnittke”

“Opera, or the Doing of Women: The Dramatic Works of Ingeborg von Bronsart (1840-1913)”

“‘I Write What I Hear’: Genre in Selected Songs by Jane Sibbery”

“Opera, Narrative, and the Modernist Crisis of Historical Subjectivity”

“Mozart’s Slow-Fast Rondo Arias: A Contribution to the Study of Aria Types, 1770-91”

“Protestant Funeral Music and Rhetoric in Seventeenth-Century Germany: A Musical-Rhetorical Examination of the Printed Sources”




Banner image: The Artist and his Family by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone (1609–1662) via Wikimedia Commons